By G9ija

Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, has explained why the federal government secured $72 million from the World Bank for the 36 states to develop states’ land information systems.

Speaking at the Geoinformation Society of Nigeria Annual Conference held in Lagos, the minister said the gesture is to strengthen internally generated revenue (IGR) collection at the state level, adding that the effort will generate not less than 50,000 employment for the teeming youths.

He said, “The World Bank through the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning secured $2,000,000.00 for each of the states totalling $72,000,000.00 for the 36 states to develop the States’ Land Information System.

“It is worthy to note that, the World Bank-assisted States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme DLI5 on the Land Information System (LIS) is to strengthen Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection at the state level. This singular effort will generate not less than 50,000 jobs for our teeming youth.”

In his welcome address at the occasion, the president of Geoinformation Society of Nigeria, Dr Matthew Adepoju, said that it is pertinent that repositioning the nation requires knowledge in the economy to catch up with the rest of the world.

Listing security, environment and socio-economic factors as the problems confronting the nation, Adepoju said, “The current reality is, the world has entered the fourth industrial developmental revolution where things are done differently.”

He argued that the coming of COVID-19 is a blessing in disguise. He said, “The arrival of COVID-19 seems to be a blessing in disguise just like the second (2nd) World War accelerated the technological advancement for mankind. New businesses, new billionaires and above all-new innovative and smart ways of doing things is our reality today. I have had more than 50 global meetings via Zoom, Webex, teams etc. This has greatly reduced my carbon print thereby saving the planet a much-needed cut in CO2.”

Noting that the world has moved into the robotic age, Adepoju said, “We have effectively moved into the robotic-age powered by artificial intelligence, built on robust spatial datasets for the precision result. Other continents have started full applications of research results of yesterday and reaping bountifully from such.

“The top 10 richest in the world have their wealth linked to the proceeds of spatial science and innovations e.g. Tesla Group, Amazon Services, Google, Facebook, Alibaba, etc. In the same light, many geospatial apps such as Hubber, Google Map, Bolt, Jumia and many more are multibillion-dollar innovative hubs. I, therefore, call on the youths of GEOSON to start the aggressive exploration of the potentials of spatial solutions to leapfrog our dear nation into the fourth industrial revolution.

“Geoinformation Society of Nigeria, have a great role to play in managing every facet of the quest for development from industrialisation, smart city, precision agriculture, transportation, communications and many more to firmly position Nigeria through disruptive geospatial information and spatial data technological revolutions.

“The bedrock of the fourth revolution of human development is powered by geospatial technology. If Nigeria is to move forward and in the right direction, geospatial science and technology, geospatial intelligence must play a great role in its developmental programme.

“Starting from the development of a robust geocoded addressing system for Nigeria to aid location-based services and business intelligence as well as security and emergency services.”