It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to this Press Conference on the “State of the Surveying Practice in Lagos State”. The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors was established in 1934 in Lagos. Since the establishment (of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in 1934 in Lagos) our relationship with this great State has blossomed. We notice with great admiration the developments in Lagos State. Right from the time of Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Mr. Raji Babatunde Fashola (SAN), there has been remarkable growth in all aspects of development. In the last two years and under the leadership of our dynamic Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, this developmental trend has further expanded to the point where every corner of the State is clearly feeling the dividends of democracy.
As pioneer development professionals, it is important that we recognise the steps being taken in ensuring that Lagos attains the status of a Mega City. We wish to commend the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his leadership and assure him of our total cooperation.
As stakeholders, Lagos State branch of NIS have been participants in the World Habitat Day by the United Nations Program on Human Habitat celebrations by Lagos State Government. Most recently in 2015 & 2016, we demonstrated the need to work in harmony with the government in the evolution of beautiful and functional Public Spaces through the provision of up-to-date geospatial data in all its Housing and other physical development programmes. We also participated and offered critical input in the preparations of the Epe and Ikorodu (2016-2036) sub-Region Master Plans.
Surveying is the bedrock of all meaningful developments and the United Nations recognizes that the most developed nations are the most mapped. It is in this light that we want to make the following suggestions to the Governor to enhance the ongoing efforts to make Lagos a true Mega City.
Continuous Updating of the Mapping of Lagos State.
The Mapping project of Lagos State was a very ambitious and landmark initiative yet to be surpassed by any State government in Nigeria. The full and total coverage of the State with high resolution imagery, Survey Control monuments, Continuous Operating Reference Systems and an Enterprise Geographic Information System has placed the State in the fore front of most mapped cities in Africa. However, this must be sustained with regular updates to ensure that the spatial content of the geospatial data is most current for effective use for development control, planning and engineering design.
Support and Upgrade of the Office of the State Surveyor General
The Government of Lagos State must be commended for its investment and support for the Office of the State Surveyor General which is undeniably the very best in the nation. This support needs not only to be sustained but even increased so that the investment made by the State in the Mapping exercise earlier mentioned can deliver on its expected dividends. This continuous support is required to effective place the Office of the State Surveyor General to play its statutory role to service Surveyors in private practice in the management of the valuable Cadastral Data generated and domiciled therein.
As Built Surveys for Public Infrastructure
It is clear that Lagos is a city with its eyes squarely focused on the future. The rapid development of the Lekki Corridor and the massive drive in Urban Renewal projects all over the State is highly commendable. As pioneer development professionals we know that putting infrastructure in place is one thing, keeping them in a state of good use is another. To do this there is a need to ensure that there is a policy and a deliberate interest to ensure that As Built Surveys are carried out first for all major infrastructure and eventually for all infrastructures of public use in the State. This will not only impact positively on the maintenance of these public assets but will also be a useful resource for safety and emergency management.
Involvement of Private Surveyors in Planning and Infrastructure Development
It will interest you to know that the State also holds the record for having the largest number of private practices for Surveying in the State. Ours have been a long standing relationship in ensuring the State thrives as a growing real estate concern. We have over the years worked closely with relevant government agencies to ensure that Land Transactions continue seamlessly and hence makes Lagos the destination of choice for investment.
We want to implore Lagos State government to patronise private practising Surveyors in Lagos for its Surveying projects as other professionals are patronised for their expertise as against the practice where the Survey Directorate does the works in-house.
We cannot conclude this Press briefing without mentioning our revised guidelines for Cadastral Practice. It has come to our notice the various publications and commentary on this development. While we appreciate the concern of the public,we however want to state that this is a regular exercise that is carried out periodically. Contrary to the contents of some of these reports, the objective of the exercise is to ensure that our members via their practices can continue to offer quality services to the good people of the State. The process for the review was with full consideration of the prevailing operational cost and interest of the public. We want to sincerely appreciate the good people of Lagos State for their continuous support and understanding in this regard. The response has been overwhelming and most encouraging. We wish to assure the good people of Lagos State of our continued resolve to always offer services of the highest quality and delivered to ensure Total Client Satisfaction.
We appreciate the concern of the Media and as partners in progress, we want to solicit for their continued support and understanding.
Thank you and God Bless
Surv. Olugbenga Alara, fnis
Chairman, Nigerian Institution of Surveyors,
Lagos State Branch.