Gombe visits Nasarawa to see land management reform A team of government officials, selected from stakeholders in the Gombe State lands management, was in Nasarawa State penultimate week to see the muchtalked-about land management model in the host state.
The visit was the umpteenth from similar stakeholders, since May 30, 2013 when Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura led former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nasir el-Rufai and other stakeholders to commission what has stood Nasarawa out as a state transporting itself to a sophisticated society. That project is called Nasarawa Geographic Information Service (NAGIS), which complex at MararabaGurku, at the gateway to Abuja, also happens to be Nasarawa’s engineering structure to beat.
Led by Alhaji Ahmed Usman, the Senior Special Assistant on Due Process to Gombe State Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanbo, and the state Surveyor General, Surveyor Bakari Keletema; as well as the Special Assistant to the Governor on Urban Development, TPL Henry Likita, the team of 13 stakeholders in the state lands management visited to acquaint themselves as well as get the first hand feel of the modern lands system called Geographic Information System (GIS) and its components.
Part of the 13-man team was drawn from a leading consultant on land management, DMT Technologies Limited, which officials included: the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ahmed Shuaib and Ola Olukorade and Udeh Harvey.
The visit brought the team face to face with what is obtained at NAGIS Centre: a hub that streams in all lands information and related data under one roof, with the technology to bring up any information including the image and size of each property on ground on a land size of 27,300 square kilometers.
The total land size of 27,300 square kilometers, sharing boundary with five other states and Abuja, all within the North-Central and North-East zones of the country: FCT in the North-West, Plateau in the North-East, Kaduna in the North, Benue in the South, Kogi in the South-West, and Taraba in the South-East - are now in aerial images called Orthophotos. They are stored as part of the huge data captured for easy management and administration at the NAGIS Centre.
Aeroprecisa Limited, the firm handling the provision of Digital Aerial Mapping (DAM) of Nasarawa, in what has led to the computerization of the land management and administration in the state, completed flying the state to capture the images, in the late days of December, 2013.
DAM is only a component of the totality of NAGIS, a 21st Century urbanization project with an output expected to provide the roadmap that will lead the current administration to give Nasarawa the same planned development as its big and next door neighbor, Abuja.
The team from Gombe was taken through all sections of the relevant technology that stands out NAGIS Centre, with every point explained to the visitors by staff of the centre. The staff, some of them fresh from the university, were employed barely months ago, but their mastery of the technology as demonstrated on the day of this visit, held even their bosses spellbound. They were given the training to man every desk at the high-end facility where only a push on the button of the computer will bring the visitor face to face with every detail on the landscape of 27,300 square kilometers.
The team asked questions and they got the answers they needed, to inform their decision whether Gombe will initiate a similar project. Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, the Project Manager and George Elzoghbi of Siraj, as well as Roland Klaus of GIS Transport, the same team that provided the FCTA with the system called AGIS, were there to take the Gombe team round.
Sonny Agassi, the state Commissioner for Lands and Urban Development, supervisors of the project had described NAGIS as “a milestone, making Nasarawa one of the first generation of areas in the whole of Africa, to acquire this technology.” The Nigerian-Canadian said, “From an agrarian state, Nasarawa has now become the most sophisticated part of Nigeria - with a technology that beats the rest of the country.”
This project had initially attracted Nasir el-Rufai, the former FCT minister who pioneered GIS in the country. El-Rufai confirmed that NAGIS beats AGIS (Abuja GIS) because AGIS lacks DAM. The FCT administration, several years after the project was executed in 2003, is yet to have the flying component, compelling AGIS to rely on Google images, or satellite images to provide the foundation for their GIS.
This is just as the 2013 Global Geospatial Conference, Africa’s largest and regularly occurring Geographic Information Systems (GIS) gathering attracted participation from the NAGIS partners, and provided opportunities for the state to showcase its GIS programme. Also, the Surveyor General of the Federation, Nigeria (SGOF), Professor Peter Nwilo and members of the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SUCON) have long ranked Nasarawa top among the 36 states and the FCT in the implementation of lands reforms to conform with world best practices.
The Gombe team declined to make comments to the media.
Gombe State team and partners in the NAGIS project penultimate week.