The accidental bombing of an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State by the Nigerian Air Force last Tuesday could have been averted, if the Federal Government consistently updates the country’s map.
In a press statement issued in Lagos at the weekend, President of the Nigerian Institute of Surveyors (NIS), Akin Oyegbola, said the Federal Government as a matter of urgency needs to earmark enough funds for survey and mapping in the budget so as to check future reoccurrence. “If the Information was true, it is safe to say that the map used for the mission could have been better updated”.
He explained that, “The present digital method of processing, managing, storing and presenting geo-spatial information would have made possible mapping of the IDP Camps, as they were being sited. If the IDP Camps have been mapped, the position of one of them would not have been mistaken for that of Boko Haram”.
“The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors will continue on its awareness, enlightenment, and publicity drive to make this and successive government understand the need to earmark enough funds for Surveying and Mapping in the budget, so that it can be done steadily.
“The incident no doubt shows how important mapping is to all human activities and how much Nigeria has relegated it to the background. The most mapped countries are the most developed ones. It is necessary to note that the little that is being done by the government and the private sector is not well coordinated for optimal use.”