Surveyors are calling for a new national survey/mapping of the country to curtail activities of illegal immigrants, trans-border crimes and revenue loss from import duties. DAYO AYEYEMI reports
Worried by the current spate of trans-border crimes, the built environment practitioners have tasked the Federal Government to carry out a new survey plan, which is known as mapping, across the country to checkmate activities of illegal immigrants along the nation’s borders with neighbouring countries.
The practitioners, who are surveyors, noted that outdated national survey plan was responsible for various forms of illegal activities along the borders, which have impacted the nation’s revenue generation.
Leading the campaign, Chief Executive Officer of Mapcotec Nigeria Limited, Dr. Segun Osifeso, said that the nation’s borders were too porous and that the non-existence of definite object separating the country from its neighbours was responsible for the huge population of illegal migrants into the country.
Osifeso, who is a fellow of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), told New Telegraph that the last time such exercise was conducted was in the seventies, saying that it had become obsolete and needed to be reviewed.
According to him, if the government can give the conduct of a new national survey plan the much needed attention, it would afford it the opportunity to position security agencies at the appropriate places to checkmate transborder crimes.
Besides, he said it would boost the country’s revenue from direct taxes such as import duties, excise duties, tariffs and export duties.
He said: “All efforts must be put in by relevant government agencies to ensure that the most populous African country reviews its current national survey plan, which was done in the 70s, for a more detailed, incisive and very accurate one, more so that developing countries are expected to do a review of their national survey plan every five year.”
On his part, the Managing Director, Lordsfield Geoverdict Ni- geria, Ropo Olajugba, said there had been efforts to revive the old national survey plan, which is now known as mapping, but noted that low budgetary allocation was a setback.
However, he advised that the exercise should be done gradually due to low budgetary allocation, saying, “I know government is doing it in pocket due to low resources.”
Stating the importance of mapping to national economic development, Olajugba said it was good for planning land space, borders, water bodies and land.
“What you do not measure you cannot manage it, being it border, airspace, land, water bodies. You cannot plan without knowing your boundary,” he said.
He lamented that government had been losing money due to countless routes in the nation’s borders that are not managed, saying, “If you don’t have the map as a picture, you cannot plan.”
He said that it had become a known fact that budget for sur- vey was almost zero, but that the government should find a way to register all land/properties and help in creating land bank to generate money.
“In creating land bank, once all individuals register their lands, it becomes easy to introduce tax, which the government is allowed to charge.
Government is not saying it is the owner of the land, but there is a transitional fee you pay if you want to get your title, change your title, use your title for mortgage, sub- lease and the rest,” he said.
If population census is 50 per cent critical to economic development, Olajugba said that the need to survey all lands and give them titles was 90 per cent critical.
He said: “Survey is one the critical documents you need to create title. It therefore shows that much more less than 25 per cent actually registered.
With the deployment of modern technology, I know you can register up to 90 per cent of the land.”
Chairman, NIS, Lagos State chapter, Mr. Gbenga Alara, called on the federal and state governments to emulate Lagos by carrying out general mapping of the country.
Besides, he urged the state government to ensure sustenance of regular updates of its N3 billion mapping project, first of its kind in the country.
He noted that full and total coverage of the state with high resolution imagery, survey control monuments, continuous operating reference systems and an enterprise geographic information system had placed the state in the forefront of most mapped cities in Africa.
According to him, such regular updates are to ensure that spatial content of the geospatial data is most current for effective use for development control, planning and engineering design.
Alara, who described the state’s mapping project as ‘very ambitious and landmark initiative,’ said the technology was yet to be surpassed by any state government in the country.
He also urged state authorities to invest in a robust hydrographic survey to guard against dangers of dredging.
For convenience and operational effectiveness, the Lagos State Digital Mapping/Enterprise GIS is broken into seven major components namely: Geodetic control and digital aerial photo acquisition; determination of Geoid Model and establishment of continuous operating reference station (CORS); orthophoto, contour lines and digital (vector) mapping; GIS database and enterprise ; bathymetry survey of Lagos lagoons and creeks; supply of equipment and training; and public enlightenment and education.
Osifeso also called for more surveying professionals in the country, pointing out that new entrants were expected to strive hard to earn reputation through hard work, honesty and knowledge, as well as being upright at all times in order to help the surveying profession achieve its aims.