*** Asked to take back their jobs from charlatans
By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The National Chairman, Association of Private Practising Surveyors of Nigeria (APPSN), Surveyor Yomi Bobadoye, has called on Surveyors in the country to be more proactive in taking their destiny in their hands and ensure they take back their jobs from the charlatans claiming to be doing survey jobs under whatever names and pretences.
Bobadoye, who made the call at the opening of the National Conference of APPSN in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, stressed the need for all surveyors in the country to rise up to defend the quality, resolution and standard of data collected, knowing full well that wrong data processed would give wrong information.
The National Chairman further cautioned that survey practice should no longer be business as usual, wondering why many of his colleagues complain of lack of survey jobs in a developing economy where there is so much to do.
He said: “The lack of surveying jobs for surveyors in Nigeria is the fault of surveyors. We have to take our destiny in our hands. We should take our jobs from the charlatans doing our jobs under whatever names. As Geospatial experts, we should defend the quality, resolution and standard of data collected, knowing full well that wrong data processed will give wrong information.”
The National Chairman disclosed that his executive has raised the bar of survey practice in Nigeria with the enactment of new guidelines on survey practice by SURCON, assuring his colleagues that the guidelines would be properly and effectively implemented in order to move survey practice forward in the country.
Also speaking at the occasion, Kwara state Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Surveyor Buari Musa Elelu, who declared the Conference open, challenged all private practitioners to always exhibit a high level of professional and personal integrity in their practice, hoping that the Conference would come up with necessary guidelines on ethical practice that when executed would move the surveying profession to the next level.
Surveyor Elelu urged the professional body to do all it can to ensure that state governments don’t kill the practitioners and bastardise the profession with the introduction of variable Geographic Information Service or Geographic Information System (GIS), noting that the evil in this is numerous not only to individual property owners but also the government.
He said: “Their (state governments) objective is very clear on the revenue generation while the professionals are crying over illegal, fake and substandard survey plan production which shall eventually nullify the C of O so produced. I urge this Conference to add more weight to the struggle to uphold the proper surveying works in the country.”
Kwara state Surveyor General Mohammed Ibrahim, in his opening address, stressed the need for manpower development, training, funding of surveying and geo-informatics and mapping activities as well as expansion of professional boundaries to bring in new information technology, communication and environmental managements, adding that the profession should be willing to accept some peripheral courses such as remote sensing and environmental management as being part and parcel of the profession.
Kwara state Chairman of APPSN, Surveyor James Oluwafemi Opaleye, in his welcome address, lamented that the introduction of Geographic Information Services Bills/Laws in some states has greatly jeopardised survey practice, saying surveyors in these States are gradually going out of jobs. He, therefore, urged the national body to come up with formidable policies to stop all arms of government from illegal survey work and attempts to rob the professionals of their heritage. He said: “Some state governments have taken over our work by engaging other means of getting survey plans for Certificate of Occupancy, other than from surveyors. This is a dangerous trend which must be checked immediately.”
Guest Lecturer, Surveyor Benjamin Adebimpe Lala, who described Surveyors as critical stakeholders in physical planning, opined that their continuous training and retraining should be encouraged as their primary measurements are being used by other professionals, adding that surveyors should focus more on turning spatial data acquired to useful information and be part of the team that would turn the information to applications for various sectors of the economy.