Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Saturday, blamed use of obsolete maps for the tragic bombing of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Rann village of Kala-Balge Local Government Area of Borno State by the military.
A fighter jet early in the year bombed aid providers, soldiers and displaced persons in error, killing about 100 persons.
Speaking in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, after 52nd Annual General Meeting and conference of NIS, the President of the body, Akinloye Oyegbola, said the error would have been averted if the map used for the operation was updated.
Oyegbola called 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 ground are very obsolete. If we are really 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 bomed 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”.
The official noted that the challenge facing the profession was lack of public knowledge about surveyors and their roles in the society.
Oyegbola said: “People often forget that in anything you do on land, survey comes in first. But many people don’t know about this fact and those who seem to know, actually know very little about it.
“In those colourful bridges and imposing structures you see across the country, the surveyors have worked tirelessly to make their columns stand as balanced as they look, but many people do not understand that.
“That is why when it comes to government and the award of contracts for development projects, we are always taking the back seat.”