Institute Advocates for Geospatial Education in Nigeria
The African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Technology (AFRIGIST), has advocated the employment of Geospatial technology in the execution of projects in Nigeria and other African countries. It disclosed that it has initiated a program that will provide Nigeria and other African countries the capacity to satisfy geospatial needs.
AFRIGIST formerly referred to as Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS) was established in 1972, under the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and is supervised by the Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation (SGOF). The institute which is situated in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile– Ife, is a bilingual (English and French) inter-governmental educational outlet for these member countries: Benin, Burkina – Faso, Cameroun, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, the host country, and Senegal.
It was created to develop skilled manpower needs in geospatial information science and technology and its application. It welcomes all African countries, providing theoretical and practical training in Photogrammetry, Remote-Sensing, Cartography, and Geographic information science (GIS) including their application in geographical surveys, environmental studies, natural resources management, mapping, land administration among others.
The Executive Director of AFRIGIST, Dr. Adewale Akingbade, while speaking at the palace of the Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibrin, a former Minister of Environment, said benefits of geospatial education were enormous and Nigeria was yet to explore opportunities in geospatial technology. He enjoined the policymakers and relevant authorities to encourage the acquisition of geospatial education within the country, stressing that it’ll end the unwholesome practice of executing projects without data and facts.
The Emir said the importance of GIS can’t be over-emphasized, adding that Nassarawa State has achieved a lot through the employment of geospatial technology. He lauded the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Taiwo Adeniran on his appointment and urged him to carry everyone for meaningful development.