The Oyo State branch of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), on Tuesday expressed readiness to partner with the Oyo state government on revenue generation.
The Chairman, Aderemi Kobiowu, made the pledge while speaking at the inauguration of new executive of the institution in Ibadan.
The inauguration which coincided with the annual luncheon of the institution was attended by the State Governor, Mr. Seyi Makinde who was represented by the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Housing, Barrister Abdulrahman Abdulraheem.
Speaking, Kobiowu said: “NIS Oyo State branch is ready to partner with the state government to have meaningful development in the state. Among the area of partnership made by the institution is to have an input into the blueprint for policy direction of Oyo State.
“Here, I itemized the policy direction that will help the state government in generating more revenue: Regularization of illegal occupation of government acquisition, Regularization of title document ana building plan of existing building, to relax process of certificate of occupancy, duplication of the role of GIS agency with that of the ministry of lands, housing and survey. Government land acquisition that required review. One kilometer acquisition along Ibadan circular road, one kilometre acquisition along new Lagos/ Ibadan railway corridor. Forestry acquisition.
“Involvement of all the required professionals in road construction. Militating against building collapse by state government by implementing building code law. Loss of revenue at the local government level as a result of not having surveyors in all the local governments. Creation of state boundary commission to resolve boundary issues between local governments and adjoining state.
The guest speaker, Dr. Matthew Ibitoye, of the Department of Remote Sensing and Geoscience Information System in his paper entitled, “Repositioning Surveying Profession in a challenging Economy”, said all hands must be on deck to reposition the surveying profession in Nigeria. He also called for the revisiting of the mapping bill that was once proposed by the institute under the leadership of Late Francis Overare.
He added: “Committee on Surveying and Mapping to oversee effective implementation of the National Mapping Policy and control of mapping activities at the state level should be created. This will give prominence to surveying in the country. As a member of United Nations, governments at all levels are expected to commit certain percentage of their budgetary allocation to mapping programme. Nigerian surveyors need to press this on the government.
“There are some rules and regulations that have been in operation for years in many of our states that surveyors mistakenly assumed to be statutory. Such rules and regulations need to be legalized to stand against obnoxious directives from government officials. Over the years, surveying community has made frantic efforts to see that the survey content of any engineering projects comes to surveyors directly but these efforts seems not yielding positive result. It is at this juncture that I will implore SURCON as a regulatory body and NIS to come together and fight the “battle” collectively.
“There is one fundamental issue we need to understand while pursuing the case. Going by the short history of development of Surveying in Nigeria as earlier enumerated in this paper, there was no time the attention of the colonial masters was focused on engineering survey. What occupied their interest then was how to map the country for their economic gain. That explains why they invested so much money on topographical and administrative maps of the country.
“The Departments of surveying established then was to ensure the compliance of their immediate interest. It is therefore an herculean task to rescue this aspect of surveying from engineers who had seen surveying as an integral part of their work. However, it is a course that worth fighting not minding the “giants” holding to it”.
Also present at the ceremony were former NIS President, Surveyor Akin Oyegbola who represented the incumbent NIS President, Surveyor Charles Alabo, Acting Surveyor General in the state, Surveyor S.A. Alaba and Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Muideen Olatunji.
Those that were returned as executive members included Prince Aderemi Kobiowu (Chairman), Taiwo Oyejola (Vice Chairman), Dasola Adefabi (Secretary), Adenike Oladipo (Assistant Secretary), Kamilu Akinsola (Treasurer), S.A. Ajayi (Internal Auditor), Alex Egberinde (Publicity/ Social Secretary), Ademola Saka (Council Representative).