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Estate surveyors urged on opportunities in land

Estate surveyors urged on opportunities in land

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Estate surveyors have been urged to explore the  Geographic Information System (GIS) in land administration as it provides great business oportunities and strategies for  practitioners and the government.

The Deputy Director Estate, Lagos State Ministry of Housing, Mrs. Olayinka Patunola-Ajayi, gave the advice at a Stakeholders’ meeting of the Faculty of Land Administration and Geographic Information System (GIS) of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV).

According to her, GIS involves centralising land and information about its ownership under one authority which regulates the structure and patterns of ownership, land use, and access of the public to land resources in a sustainable manner from environmental and economic perspectives. A good land administration system, she maintained, aims at equitable distribution of wealth to encourage  growth and development.

She described the GIS as a powerful tool in the management and analysis of the large amount of basic data and information – statistical, spatial and temporal – to generate information in the form of maps, tabular and textual reports or land use decisions. It also provides the tool for modernising and improving the management system, efficiently, functionally and flexiby, which make it the most adopted system of land administration across the world.

“The GIS involves two fields -mechanical/statistical and geographical representation of land and the various reasons for the adoption of the GIS are increased in the amount of land documentation growth, global challenges technology development, improved data quality among others.

Urging real estate professionals to be determined to create wealth from land for the benefit of the citizenry, she noted that the GIS provides opportunities for stakeholders to increase their data and service provision within their traditional domain.

Patunola-Ajayi said to take advantage of the opportunities, practitioners must take the bull by the horn and call for a synergy with the government and private entities to ensure that the benefits of GIS were reaped.

She, however, noted that GIS has the potential to support society’s evolving humankind and land relationship by providing information to make favourable decisions for sustainable development in land management.

Land, as a basic economic resource, she further explained, is incontrovertible. This is because apart from being a fundamental base for all economic activities and also a source of food and sustenance, land offers the greatest support for an efficient market economy, particularly because of its ability to be used as collateral for loans to other productive activities, among others.

Another surveyor, Mr. Akinade Tijani, sees land as an asset which includes anything on the ground, such as building, crops, fences, trees, water above the ground and under the ground. Therefore, he argued, land administration is a process whereby land and the information about it is effectively managed.

However, Tijani explained that as population increases and resources became scarce, the competition for land become more intense and man began to realise that he could get more from less if he applied his intellect. This would not have been possible, if he did not have control over the asset, thereby leading to the evolution of land administration.

Other reasons for land administration, according to Tijani, include to provide and guarantee stability in the way land is accessed; to implement land-related laws and policies, to ensure economic development, to ensure security of tenure and to ensure stability and certainty in the land market, and to raise revenue.

Tijani explained the GIS as a computer-based system for the handling of geographically referenced information. He described it as a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage and present spatial or geographic data. The system also has the capability to link attribute or relational data to spatial data.

“GIS is conceived manly as set tools to assist in many human activities that can be geo-referenced. The application of GIS to land administration was pioneered in the Scandinavian region of Europe and they preferred the term land information system which means a geographic information system for cadastral and land use mapping, typically consisting of an accurate, current and reliable land record, cadasters and associated attributes,” he explained.

Tijani also spoke about the components of land administration, corresponding agencies, organisations and bodies for administering the identified processes in Lagos State which are; Land Use and Allocation Office, Lagos State Lands Registry, Lagos state valuation office etc., including noting the requirement for participation in the process of Land administration and the opportunities available to practitioners.

On the presentation, the Faculty of Land Administration and GIS of NIESV Chairman, Mr. Dapo Ogunlewe, said they were eye- opening for its members and had further enhanced their knowledge about opportunities of the GIS.

“The papers were really eye- opening.They made us to see so many opportunities that exist businesswise in the area of land administration, the way and manner our members can benefit financially and do better things with it,” Ogunlewe added.


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