By Abubakar Y Ojima Abuja
The Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola has inaugurated the 7th Governing Council for the 114 years old foremost surveying training institution in Nigeria, the Federal School of Surveying (FSS), Oyo, Oyo State with the Surveyor General of the Federation (SGoF), Surv. Abudulganiyu Adeyemi Adebomehin, as Chairman.
The event which was pursuant to Part 1, Section 2 of the FSS Act (No.19) of 25th June 1990 was witnessed by the President of the surveying regulatory body, the Surveyors Council of Nigeria (SURCON), Surv. Clement Nwabiche and one of the early principals of the school, an octogenarian, Surv. Chief Benjamin A. Lala among other dignitaries, a statement from the office of the Surveyor General, signed by the head, Press and Public Relations, Abu Michael, said.
In his remarks, the Minister who was represented by the SGoF said, “With the expiration of the tenure of the 6th Governing Council, the federal government in its wisdom as usual nominated some credible Nigerians cutting across relevant authorities, professions, and the country’s geopolitical zones to reflect our diversity for the reconstitution of this Governing Council”.
He charged the new governing council to provide the school management a policy direction for its growth and expansion in line with the vision and mission of the school, adding that the rector and members of management of the school work with the governing council to ensure formulation of good policies to entrench the legacies of academic prowess hence efforts were in top gear to quicken the transformation of the school to a full-fledged university.
The SGoF who was represented by his Head of Survey Coordination Department, Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation, OSGOF, Surv.
Semiu Ayinde thanked the state government, the Oyo traditional stool and its subjects for being good hosts and as parts of the success story of the school.
In her address of welcome, the Rector of the school, Surv. Dr Dupe Nihinlola Olayinka-Dosunmu disclosed that the last council approved the proposed nomenclature of the school as Federal University of Geospatial Sciences and Environmental Technology, Oyo and that with the support of the Minister of Works and Housing, the necessary directives have been given for sensitisation and contacts with relevant stakeholders among other efforts.
According to the rector, the school was not only the first to graduate students in digital technology in the country, its curricula was adopted by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to develop the current national curricula for polytechnics offering surveying and geoinformatics.
She noted that the school has also mounted a Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information System (GIS), another pioneering feat in the country in addition to the accreditation for the running of 3 more courses: Computer Science, Cartography and GIS, Photogrammetry and remote-Sensing at National Diploma level.
Surv. Nihinlola said the school was synonymous with the development of surveying in Nigeria hence it was established on 1st July, 1908 at Onikan in Lagos for the training of African assistants for colonial surveyors. By early 70s, she said that the school was empowered offering programmes for technicians, technologists and others which hitherto were studied in the University of New Brunswick, Canada; University College London or Army Course at Newbury and Melbourne, Austrialia.
The SURCON President, Surv. Nwabiche, in his goodwill message described the school as the citadel of surveying in the country expressing delight over the efforts being made for its transformation to a full-fledged university.
He said it has been realised that no societies in the world can do without geospatial data as he pledged the support of SURCON for further development of the school.
Highlight of the event was the commissioning of the newly swimming facility as part of requirement for the take-off of the Department of Hydrography of the school by the chairman and members of the inaugurated governing council.
The council comprised Surv. Semiu Akanni Ayinde representing Office of the Surveyor General of the Fedration; Dr. Sanjo Faniran, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning; Mr. Adama Sabo James, Federal Ministry of Education; Mr. Olajide Ode-Martins, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing; Surv. Major Muhammed Garba, Armed Forces of Nigeria; and the Oyo State Surveyor General, Surv. Abiodu S. Alaba. Others were Surv. Hassan Abdullahi representing states Surveyor Generals; Surv. Badamosi Tahir of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NS); Surv. Mrs. Evelyn Olomu representing other bodies engaged in the practice of surveying and mapping and the school rector, Surv. Mrs. Nihinlola. The Registrar of the School, Administrator Oyekola O. Oyedele is to serve as secretary of the council.