Towards an Environment of Sustainability - 30th Annual
Olumide Memorial Lecture in Nigeria
Abuja, Nigeria, 20-21 November 2012
FIG President made another working visit to Abuja, Nigeria between 20th
and 21st November 2012 as part of the lead-up to the 2013 FIG Working Week.
During the visit, apart from continuing the discussion with the Nigerian
Institution of Surveyors on their preparation, President CheeHai TEO
delivered the 30th Annual Olumide Memorial Lecture on 20th November 2012.
This lecture series was in honour of the first President of the Nigerian
Institution of Surveyors and at this year’s lecture, a member of the Olumide
Family was again invited and attended. The day’s memorial event concluded
with a gala dinner at the venue of the 2013 FIG Working Week, the gala
dinner was also aimed at promoting the 2013 FIG Working Week to the
surveyors and their guests.
The lecture, titled “Towards an Environment of Sustainability”,
recognized that the Profession is in an era of rapid change and understands
this complex and interconnected environment the Profession is in. The
Profession has its sciences and technologies, its knowledge and practices.
The Profession measures, values, estimates, maps, reports, models, analyzes
and manages. The Profession is in touch with political, social,
environmental and economic realities and in the midst of all these, as
professionals, serving people, places and policies with its data,
information, knowledge and actions. It was opined that when this overall
environment is operating in synergistic and holistic manner, the Profession
would find relevance and significance, and a path towards professional and
On the evening of the same day, FIG President attended the opening
segment of the Dialogue on Legitimizing Systematic Land Titling and
Registration in Nigeria organized by the Presidential Technical Committee on
Land Reform (PTCLR). The Honorable Ms. A. I. Pepple, CFR, (Hon.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Nigeria) was present to
officiate the dialogue and stressed the importance of this initiative to
Nigeria. Alongside her were two distinguished Senators. Prof. Akin L.
Mabogunje, former Chair of PTCLR, chaired the occasion and recall the
journey that can be dated back to 1903!.
The current Chair of PTCLR, Prof. Peter O. Adeniyi, invited the
FIG President to deliver the keynote address at the opening of the dialogue.
PTCLR was initiated by the late President of Nigeria who said ‘’We are
deeply convinced that for us to develop as a country, we need to awaken the
potential of land as a veritable resource for Food Security, Capital,
Poverty Reduction, Capital Accumulation, Economic Growth and National
Development.’’ (2 April, 2009)
In the belief that Land still has the capacity to create opportunities
that provides dignity and that good land rights infrastructures exist in
only 35-50 countries by one estimate, considering that, by another estimate,
only three percent of Nigeria has cadastre coverage, FIG President urged
participants to consider home-grown appropriate approaches and solutions
that may well involve methodologies that are of lesser sophistication and
accuracies, information from participatory and volunteered sources,
technologies that are mobile and widely available, that may well be distinct
from prevailing approaches and practices that are usually rigorous and could
be out-dated. Noting the goals of the intended land reform, the FIG
President wished the Dialogue success as participants sought consensus and
agreements to chart a more feasible path forward and design solutions
towards unlocking the potential that’s in the land, towards Nigeria’s
national development, economic growth and continued prosperity.
Earlier at the 30th Annual Olumide Memorial Lecture, referring to this
Dialogue and the mandate of PTCLR, FIG President urged Nigerian Surveyors to
seize the opportunity and to lead by example; to strive and improve
professional skills, practices and knowledge and this can be attained by a
pragmatic program of continuing education and professional development; to
embrace change that advances in technologies has afforded by developing
context driven appropriate and affordable approaches; to engage in robust
capacity development through engagement with the academia and understanding
user needs; and to improve ethical conduct and professional accountability
through improvements within their professional domain.
This, it is opined, is necessary to build confidence and trust, to be
part of the solution and not the problem, to foster an environment of
professional and business sustainability and to demonstrate to both the
Government and the public that Surveyors in Nigeria has a new way of
conducting its business, towards the betterment of the Nigerian society,
environment and economy.
21 December 2012