SURCON blames members over quackery in survey practice
WITHOUT aid from some registered land surveyors, the fight against quackery confronting survey practice in the country would have long been won, newly elected registrar of the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON), Mr. Suleiman Hassan has said.
Suleiman made the statement last week in Abuja while taking over from the immediate past registrar of SURCON, Mr. Windston Ayeni.
But the new SURCON chief immediately assured that the land surveyors’ regulatory body would not be deterred in arresting cases of complicity and compromise of its members, assuring that the body would continue to fish out bad eggs within its fold.
Hassan, who lamented over the intrusion of quacks into the survey industry, noted that “Quacks have existed as old as regulatory practice has come on, but quacks exist with the help of a registered surveyor because if a quack produces a plan, for it to be legal he gets someone who is registered to append his signature to it.
“Those ones we are out looking for them to punish them that is why we have an ethics committee in every state where the Surveyor-General of that state is the chair person, the Chairman of the Nigeria Institution of Survey is a member and one member in Council allocated to a particular zone,” Hassan noted.
Similarly, the body has expressed worry over the indiscriminate reclamation of land near lakes and oceans especially in Abuja and Lagos state with disregard to Surveyors’ persistent alerts.
The Council also urged for profound inclusion in the re-current budgetary allocation by the federal government to strengthen the survey sector in the country.
The Office of the Surveyor-General is currently funded under the capital budget in the revenue allocation policy of the nation and
In a hand-over speech in Abuja at the weekend, out-going Registrar of SURCON, Windston Ayeni told The Guardian that the office of the Surveyor-General has the capability but does not have the product because they are not funded rightly.
In his words: “Surveying can tell you the volume of water in Jabi. There is a big mall they are building beside the Jabi lake, if that water rises one meter, that mall will flood, so the water must be monitored by Surveyors empowered by government. Kaduna got flooded years ago, but the Surveyors saw it and informed the then Govenor Markarfi on time.
“As we speak, the Director of Survey in the Federal Capital Territory does not know, that is why I said that the state will have that same type of long view. We have a saying in our planner that surveying is ubiquitous because it is in everything.
“Already there is a (flood) effect of the lack of surveying in Lagos as Eko Atlantic is causing problem and Surveyor Dr. Lola has alerted the Lagos state government but they are hesitant. Even the Ajah area in Lagos is being flooded now but the state does not have any model of the area and that is Lagos that should know because Federal Surveyor headquarters used to be there,” Ayeni said.
Ayeni expressed concern that the main survey government organisation is “funded more in capital as opposed to re-current so we have the best trained people sitting down doing nothing. Government must be able to sustain through funding a viable monitoring and evaluation aspect of the Office of the Surveyor-General and that is where we the SURCON comes in.”
He stressed that government must be able to sustain through funding a viable monitoring and evaluation aspect of the Office of the Surveyor-General and which is the core function of the SURCON as the organisation must go past generalized information and seek actionable information that is precise.
The immediate past Registrar noted that “the Office of the Surveyor-General has the capability but they don’t have the products because they are not funded rightly. They are funded more in capital as opposed to re-current so, we have the best trained people sitting down doing nothing.
“A Surveyor is a person who gives geo-spatial information in all facets of life. For me some of my colleagues especially among the younger ones should be encoureged because some of the older ones are set in their patterns and seem to know a lot about only one thing.
“The biggest thing I wish we had achieved is to have the Office of the Surveyor-General have a recurrent budget that will make him produce maps in a continuous tense for Nigeria. Mapping is a continuous tense if the office of the Surveyor-General had a recurrent budget we will not be looking for maps of Sambisa forest. They will know it; they will see it. We will not be looking for River Niger to dredge, all that, will be there because from his maps we will get that information.