The Geoinformation Society of Nigeria, GEOSON and the Plateau State Government rally stakeholders to kickstart works on introducing graduate and post-graduate Geographic Information System (GIS) programmes in universities.
GEOSON President, Surv. Fitka Steve Bilshakka disclosed this in his remarks at the society’s Annual General Assembly (AGA) held in Jos on Monday.
Surv. Bilshakka explained that introducing the GIS programmes in universities includes setting up all relevant committees and statutory bodies prescribed by the constitution academic programmes: seminars and workshops.
He said training programmes include the organisation of short courses, mandatory continuous professional development, intensifying international collaborations, and membership drives.
He challenged participating stakeholders to rise to the occasion in the quest to place Nigeria on the global map of the geoinformation system, given that the world is becoming increasingly geoinformation driven.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our beloved guest. The generation and use of geoinformation is influencing every sector of life. Everyone generates geoinformation; everyone makes use of geo-information. The world now thinks and acts as geo-information.
“Once again, I thank you for being partners in progress in our mutual efforts and collective challenge and responsibility in moving our great society to a higher level of global inclusion and relevance throughout the geo-information community.
“As partakers in this conference, let us reflect on the challenges ahead of us as professionals in the geospatial data industry. It is recognition of our collective efforts and reaffirmation of our commitment that will lead to the progress of Nigeria,” he said.
He stressed that the theme of this year’s AGA, “Emerging Geo-information Tools and Techniques for Security and Management: Opportunities and Strategies for Nigeria”, was very apt, giving the myriad of security and other challenges, expressing the hope that the quality of papers and presenters would be able to provide the government with some solutions to the challenges.
Highlighting the progress made so far, the number one GEOSONist revealed that at present, on the membership drive and certification front, the society now boasts about 1200 fully registered and certificated members and is still counting on its website of www.geoson.ng.
At the state level, he said, “We have 26 functional state chapters right now but 23 Operational,” urging all those who have not registered to take advantage of the window and join before it is too late. According to him, the society’s activities have recently been boosted in the areas of publication in the International Journal of Geoinformation and Earth Sciences and international collaboration, among others.
In his speech, the host governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang, affirmed the commitment of the state to the advancement of geo-information in the area, adding that his government, having recognised the pivotal role geo-information plays, was poised to upgrade the state’s Geo-Information information System agency to meet international standards.
He stressed the need for a seamless collaboration between the state and GEOSON.
“I am excited about the collaboration prospects between the Plateau State Government and the Geo-information Society of Nigeria. Together, we can explore avenues to harness geo-information for our state’s economic development. The potential is immense,” the governor said.