By NBF News

By Yinka Kolawole
In a bid to effectively address the challenges of land administration in a sustainable way, the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors has called on the federal government to establish a National Land Reform Commission (NLRC). It also called on government to commit more funds to secure new maps for the country.

The call was made in a communique issued by the institution and presented by its President, Mr. Yakubu Maikano, at the end of its 46th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and conference held recently in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

The institute lamented that inadequacy in the provisions of the Land Use Act of 1978 and its poor implementation due to lack of political will and the absence of appropriate mapping has been the bane of land reform in the country.

It therefor recommended a review of the Act and the complete mapping of the country to pave way for the sustainable implementation of the Land Reform Agenda

The communique called for collaboration among various professionals and stakeholders in order to achieve a sustainable Land Reform Agenda for the Nigeria.

It noted the progress made by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform to turn every available land into asset and create a viable land market in the country. 'The basic pre-requisite for any land reform is the development of the spatial content of the environment upon which the reform is intended.

Consequently the Land Reform Agenda can fully be realized only when the country is fully mapped and a nationwide land cadastral system is in place,' it noted.

The communique also noted that in order to actualise the full utilisation of the current surveying technologies in Nigeria, tertiary institutions and related research bodies have been challenged to conduct undergraduate and postgraduate researches using available and emerging technologies, which would enhance the surveyors' performance in providing high quality solution to the Land Reform and land administration challenges in the country.

In his remarks, Maikano noted: 'The land reform programme requires government to take the bull by the horn and commit huge sums into the surveying and mapping of this country because we see the land reform activity as an opportunity for Nigeria to commence investment in surveying and mapping.

There is an urgent need to for government to also establish a national mapping commission through which we have a national mapping policy.

Our institution has continued to remind government to every year to put more funds for the mapping of the country in the past 35 years as the mapping situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

Surveying and mapping will accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals and its home-grown reform program, National Empowerment strategy.'