The African Regional Institute for Geospatial Information Technology (AFRIGIST), has advocated the use of Geospatial technology in the execution of projects in Nigeria and other African countries.
It disclosed that it has initiated a programme that will provide Nigeria and other African countries the capacity to meet geospatial needs.
AFRIGIST formerly known as Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS) was established in 1972 under the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and is supervised by the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (SGOF).
The institute which is located in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, is a bilingual (English and French) inter-governmental educational outlet for the following member countries: Benin, Burkina – Faso, Cameroun, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, the host country, and Senegal.
It was created to develop skilled manpower needs in geospatial information science and technology and its application. It is open to all African countries, providing theoretical and practical trainings in Photogrammetry, Remote-Sensing, Cartography and Geographic Information Science (GIS) including their application in geographical surveys, environmental studies, natural resources management, mapping, land administration among others.
The Executive Director of AFRIGIST, Dr. Adewale Akingbade, while speaking at the palace of the Emir of Nasarawa, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibrin, a former Minister of Environment, said benefits of geospatial education were enormous and that Nigeria was yet to explore opportunities in geospatial technology.
He enjoined the government and relevant authorities to encourage the acquisition of geospatial education in the country, stressing that it will end the unwholesome practice of executing projects without data and facts.
The Emir said the importance of GIS cannot be over-emphasised, adding that Nassarawa State has achieved so much through the use of geospatial technology.
He lauded the Surveyor General of the Federation, Taiwo Adeniran on his appointment and urged him to carry everyone for meaningful development.