Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Fashola Commissions First Of Its Kind State Digital Mapping/Geographic Information System (GIS)
Fashola Commissions First Of Its Kind State Digital Mapping/Geographic Information System
FG, other States should copy Lagos - Says Prof. Nwilo
Mar 7, 2011 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola on Monday commissioned the State Geographic Information System (GIS) describing it as a defining moment in the transformation of the State and the continuation of her progress towards becoming Africa's model city.
The Governor who spoke at the Eko Hotels and Suites venue of the launch added that the GIS will transform the way many of the things in Lagos State are done.
Just as the Governor spoke, a member of the Advisory Committee on the project, Professor Peter Nwilo from the University of Lagos, in his goodwill message with theme "GIS and the Revolution for Practitioners", urged the Federal Government and the other States to emulate what the Lagos State Government has done because digital mapping is going to change the way government works.
He asserted that no State can be effectively developed without being mapped just as States that are mapped are the most developed as the predominant part of human endeavours are location based.
He said in addition, it is only through digital mapping that the waterways can be developed which is virtually impossible without data.
Said he: "In Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), we see a new hope for Nigeria. He has demonstrated ability and capability to lead Lagos and has shown the capability to make a change in Lagos and Nigeria".
Professor Nwilo noted that during the tender process, the Governor was not bothered about who got the contract after the advisory committee had submitted its report, but was only interested in getting results.
In enumerating the values being added by the Digital Mapping System, Governor Fashola declared: "What we have today enables us to see from our offices, every building in Lagos and every piece of land, without going to personally visit the site. It allows us to determine the exact size of every piece of land, its precise boundaries and its topography from a desk in our offices".
The Governor further explained that with Digital Mapping, documents can be produced and plans printed in quicker time, while citizens can obtain maps of landed property online and pay by electronic means without visiting Alausa.
Governor Fashola said it will amount to huge savings in the time it takes to transact land businesses with Government and also reduce the traffic on Lagos roads since those who drive to Alausa for land information can now do this from their offices or residence.
"The integration of this infrastructure with the Electronic Data Management System (EDMS) means that more accurate information about land that will assist in determining ownership, designing roads, bridges, drainages and buildings of any type can be obtained without visiting the land itself", Governor Fashola elaborated.
Continuing, the Governor also explained that the system comes with additional values even for commuters and transporters.
"The Lagos Navigation System that helps commuters find streets and locations around our State from their computers or in their vehicles is now delivered with this project. We are also able to plan better the location of utilities for power, water supply, waste management facilities and so much more".
Governor Fashola recalled that during his campaigns in 2007, one of the promises he made was about the efficient management of the land assets of Lagos as the key to further prosperity while using the best technology available to manage land and plan the growth of the State.
He expressed delight that he has fulfilled the promise by undertaking and delivering for Lagos the most comprehensive geographic information system ever undertaken in the country.
"What we deliver today is perhaps the most life changing infrastructure that Lagos has embarked upon", he noted
The Lagos State helmsman explained that the project like every other one embarked upon by the administration has created work for diverse persons of different ages and professional groups like Professors, land surveyors, pilots, boatmen and young persons who acted as enumerators during the project.
He disclosed that many more would have been employed and will be employed as the full deployment and capabilities of the project are utilized, informing that a very significant portion of the project was done locally by Nigerians of diverse ethnic and linguistic backgrounds who put their enormous talents at the disposal of the State for a fair reward.
He disclosed that the GIS project took about three years to fly over every inch of the 3,755 square kilometers of Lagos to photograph every inch of land and building which have now been successfully captured.
"The photographs are accurate to a point of 11 millimeters. In the same time, we took data and barthymetric charts of the depth of every inch of water in the State in order to aid navigation and advice on dredging as well as strengthen the capacity for flood control", he added.
Governor Fashola said while this was going on, not less than 350 members of staff in different ministries and departments were undergoing several modules of training while installation of equipments was simultaneously going on.
He acknowledged the commitment of the Special Adviser to the Governor on GIS, Surveyor M.A. Durowoju, ministries and departments in Lands Bureau, Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development under the leadership of Tpl Francisco Abosede and Science and Technology Commissioner, Dr Obafemi Hamzat for his overall supervision and coordination of the assignment.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Lagos State Digital Mapping/Geographical Information System (GIS) project, Surveyor. M.A. Durowoju described the project as very spectacular because there is nowhere in the world where such a magnitude of a project has ever been done.
He said the project at a go produced aerial photos and Light Detector and Ranging (LIDAR) covering the whole state at 1:4000, digital maps covering the whole state at 1/5000 for urban areas and 1/1000 for rural areas, a composite GIS database of imagery, digital maps, bathymetry, data, geodetic data, transportation data and housing data.
Others include a Geodetic framework for primary and secondary controls in three dimensional mode, active GPS reference station otherwise called Continuous Operating Reference Station (CORS) with a GEOID for Lagos State, GIS applications to environmental control and monitoring , land registration and land management, a web based enterprise GIS for Lagos State and navigator system for Lagos State.
Giving a technical insight into the project, the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Dr Femi Hamzat said GIS allows people to view, understand, question, interprete and visualize data in many ways that review relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts.
He explained that with GIS, one can map change to anticipate future needs, saying specifically that a Police Commissioner or Inspector General of Police might use GIS to study how crime pattern change from month to month and at different locations, to determine the deployment of officers.
Dr Hamzat also said when rain falls, with GIS it is possible to determine how it affects rivers and marsh lands which is possible by using location reference system such as longitude and latitude and perhaps elevation.
The Consultant on the project, Mr Zul Jiwani said he has never seen the type of commitment, enthusiasm and political will displayed by the Lagos State Government in the project.
He added that 100 percent of what the project entailed is geography which is very hard to touch and feel.
Mr Jiwani said the LAGIS will enable government and people resolve a lot of land tenure issues by using technology at very high speed.
He said with the successful deployment of GIS, the Government has fulfilled its promise to transform Lagos.
The event was attended by members of the State Executive Council, the members of the Organised Private Sector, the Diplomatic Corps and stakeholders in the survey and mapping industry.