The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, NIS, has blamed obsolete maps for the erroneous bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp in Rann village of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State by the military.
A military fighter jet involved in the counter-insurgency operation in the North-East had fired at aid workers, soldiers and displaced persons in error, killing no fewer than 100 persons on the ground.
The President, NIS, Akinloye Oyegbola, who spoke on Saturday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, at a press conference to close the 52nd Annual General Meeting of the body, said the error would not have occurred if the map used for the operation was updated.
Oyegbola advocated for regular update of the country’s maps by the government to avoid such tragedy in the future.
He said, ”The maps we have on the ground are very obsolete. If we are to develop in a sustainable manner, we should intensify our mapping and not just the general mapping, but maps for different purposes.
”The ones we have now have not covered the whole country and the ones that have covered the country are very obsolete.
”When the IDP camp was erroneously bombed, there was a release that whatever map that was used for that trip was not updated. Because if it was updated, the IDP camp would have been on the map. And if it was on that map, there was no way they could have bombed the IDP camp erroneously. So, you see what we are talking about. We will continue to echo that and we pray and hope that the people in government will appreciate it.
”It is always said that the most developed countries are the most mapped countries in the world. There is a reason for that because they already know what mapping is all about and they want their own development to be in a sustainable manner, that is why you have it like that and that is what we are advocating for in our own country.”
He lamented that the despite the importance of surveyors to national development, many Nigerians have yet to know when to seek their services.
He also expressed concern that in the construction of bridges, houses and other structures, surveyors were not accorded their full compliments as other registered professional bodies.