15th June, 2011
HarcourtÂ Rivers Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has called on the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the Land Reform Bill pending before it, which is seeking to transform the Presidential Land Reforms Committee, constituted by the late President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, into a National Land Reform Commission.Â
Governor Amaechi, who made the call while delivering a keynote address at the 46th Annual General Meeting and Conference of Nigeria Institution of SurveyorsÂ in Calabar, Cross River State, said thatÂ the bill when passed into law will fast track land reform system in Nigeria.Â
According to him, the proposed National Land Reform Commission, when properly constituted, will help to harness unregistered Nigerian land, and convert same to assets in the market economy, describing the Land Reform Agenda of late President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua as a milestone in the development of a national land policy for Nigeria.Â
Governor Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of Nigerian Governorsâ€™ Forum, emphasised that thorough mapping would result in a nationwide land cadastre system, which will go a long way to provide detailed, reliable and easily accessible information at individual land parcel level.Â â€œSurveying and mapping are very essential for effective management of land resources and this is why the most mapped countries today, are unarguably, the most developed,â€ he stressed.Â
While calling for a synergy between government and surveyors as key stakeholders in land administration, Governor Amaechi tasked government to undertake a holistic review of extant laws relating to land administration, provide necessary legal and regulatory framework for uniform operating procedures, so as to bring about transparency and accountability.
Â He noted that in pursuit of an effective land management system in Rivers State, the state had commissioned a local survey firm which had produced an Ortho-photo maps of Port Harcourt and its environs, which in turn formed the basis for the commissioning of the Rivers State Geographical Information System (RIVGIS).
Â Speaking while declaring the 5-day conference open, the Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, reiterated the significance of surveying and mapping for sustainable development, pointing out that there cannot be any meaningful development without theÂ contributions of surveyors and thanked the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors for choosing Calabar Â for their conference.Â
Earlier, the President of Nigeria Institution of Surveyors, Chief Yakubu Maikano, had appealed to government and the organised private sector to invest in mapping for proper audit of Nigerian environment and to facilitate measurements that would ensure adequate response to the effects of climate change.Â
HeÂ disclosed that Nigeria Institution of Surveyors has won the right to host the working week of the International Federation of Surveyors in Abuja in 2013, and thanked the Cross River State Governor for hosting the AGM.
ByÂ Okafor Ofiebor/Port