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EXPOSED: Nigeria Still Using 1966 Map For Survey

•Map of Nigeria

THE Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, NIS, yesterday, lamented that Nigeria was still relying on the 1966/1967 map of its land for development, hence the continuous crisis and unclear demarcation of the country’s land, available resources in them and how they can be developed.

They called on the government to review the situation and ensure that the activities of surveyors were spelled out in the Land Use Act, which is currently due for amendment, noting that despite the very important role they play, surveyors were not recognised or given any role in the existing act.

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These and many other issues were contained in a communiqué at the end of its 58th Annual General Meeting and Conference held in Benin City, Edo State.

The President of NIV, Dr. Matthew Ibitoye, while reading the communiqué said the institution recommended the establishment of a National Policy on Surveying and Mapping,

He said: “In my address, I told the gathering that we rely on the 1966 and 1967 maps as of today in Nigeria. So, you can now see the level to which we cannot come up with a very good development if we rely on that map.

“Nigeria has not mapped its environment since that time up till the present moment that I am talking to you. The only thing that some states did is just a fire brigade approach that is not comprehensive, so that is the bitter truth that Nigeria has not even injected money to this aspect.

“Imagine the development of a city in 1966 comparing to what we are having now, they are not the same so it is the real issue that we have been telling the government to try as much as possible to map the whole country for development.”

Sambisa forest home to natural resources, human activities

He said the vast Sambisa forest notorious for the activities of the Boko Haram has assumed such infamous status partly because there was no clear understanding of the area due to the mapping of the country.

“We are talking of Sambisa today, Sambisa is in Nigeria and with the map of the whole country, you will be able to trace where Sambisa is, and the people are living there. Is that place really a forest or is it a place habited by people or they are not habitable?

“They make us realise today that Sambisa is a forest but do you know that some people are living in that Sambisa and they are making money in that Sambisa? Foreigners are coming from outside the country and they enter Sambisa for business, so can we say Sambisa is a forest?

“They told us that it is a forest but some activities are taking place there to show that it is not only a forest but a deposit for some minerals that can make Nigeria great.”

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