Our Agenda For Surveyors – President, Rivers Chairman

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Rivers State NIS Chairman, Surv. Joseph Amadi (left), chatting with the President, Surv. Akinloye Oyegbola, during his working visit to Port Harcourt on Thursday.

The 20th President of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Surveyor Akinloye Oyegbola was on a working visit to Rivers State branch of the institution last Thursday during which he held an inter-active session with members. At the event which coincided with the monthly meeting of the state NIS, the state Chairman, Surv. Joseph Wobo Amadi expressed the enthusiasm and happiness of members to interact with their President and briefed him on the programmes of his executive.
The Deputy Editor of The Tide, Donald Mike-Jaja was on the trail of the National President and snatched these exclusive interviews from both Oyegbola and the state chairman of NIS, Surv Joseph Wobo Amadi. Excerpts:
Election as National President: My name is Surv Akinloye Oyegbola. I was elected National President of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors on the 27th of May 2016 at the Annual General Meeting of the institution which held at Osogbo, Osun State. Prior to my election, I was the Deputy President of NIS and by our constitution, it was obvious that I would be the next President. I was also Secretary-General of NIS between 2000 and 2002 and of the Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria from 2009 to 2010.
I am a Rotarian of 18 years standing and past president during the 1999 Rotary year. I was also a Paul Harris Fellow in 1996 and I bring my leadership ethics and experience into my new position in NIS.
Purpose of Visit: Having taken over as President and because of the events of the recent past which traumatised the psyche of members, I thought it was necessary to embark on a working visit to acquaint members with the direction of NIS in the next two years and give them the opportunity to make input to policies. The trend was for me to do state visits and pay courtesy calls but I decided to participate in the normal meetings, sit down, meet and interact one-on-one with members. I believe that by so doing, I will offer members the opportunity of sharing the direction I intend to go with them. I don’t have all the answers and members’ inputs will enrich the decisions and actions of the executive.
I have already visited Imo and Enugu States. Rivers is the third State I am visiting. My programme is to visit the state branches during their normal meetings and it is my belief that by the end of November when I would have concluded this exercise, the whole members will know what to expect in the next two years.
My Agenda: I want to forestall the incident that traumatised our psyche in the recent past. This involved a misunderstanding with stakeholders which was not well managed and it got us on each other’s throat. It was indeed unnecessary. I am making sure it does not happen again. In Rotary we have what is called Manual Of Procedure (MOP) which regulates the activities of members and holds leadership accountable. We will introduce Bye-Laws which are like MOP to make leaders accountable.
Secondly we will address what I call the peculiarities of the surveying profession. Surveying does not advertise itself, so there is need for aggressive enlightenment, education, advocacy and awareness drive. We will therefore institute a national award for the branch with the highest publicity for the institution. We will also institute a second national award which has been named Selfless Leadership Award. This award is aimed at leading the institution out of any likely corrupt practice(s). It is in line with the anti-corruption crusade of the present Federal Government. A committee is being set up to fine-tune the award package and states are to present a candidate each from which the winner will be chosen.
Thirdly, we intend to harness peace in the NIS to generate jobs for members. Already, we have revived the moribund NIS Consult, the board of which is headed by the President. The executive has also been mandated to recruit an Operations Manager so that NIS Consult can vie for jobs for itself and for members.
Publicity Challenge: The major challenge of surveying is publicity. People know very little of surveying. Indeed, there is not enough surveyors in Nigeria and the undoing of the profession is lack of publicity. The layman would not understand why a graduate with a string of degrees would be going into the bush in the name of surveying. Surveying involves data acquisition, processing and presentation. It is physically tasking. It prepares society for development which occurs on land.
Election as Rivers State branch chairman: My name is Joseph Wobo Amadi. I was re-elected chairman of the Rivers State branch of NIS on July 26, 2016. My agenda include the completion of all on-going projects in the state. These are the Surveyors Estate in Omagwa, the NIS secretariat in Rumuosi, Port Harcourt, publication of our journals, empowerment and elevation of younger surveyors and the projection of surveyors’ image and surveying profession to the public.
Achievements So Far: We have commenced effective publicity of our activities in the mass media. This included our election, visit to the state Surveyor-General and the courtesy visit by state branch of Women In Surveying (WIS) to the state Deputy-Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry-Banigo.
We have also embarked on some capital projects including resumption of work on the NIS secretariat which we have roofed. Before the end of the year, we will make the secretariat functional. We have concluded payment for the land acquired for the Surveyors Estate and we are working on taking effective possession of the land.
Rivers NIS has also produced its journal – The Pathfinder and membership directory which covered up to 2015 and is subject to regular update. Copies of these were presented to the National President during his visit.
I appeal to members to pay their annual subscriptions and levies to enable us actualise our programmes.
Primarily, surveyors are concerned with the determination of geo-spatial location of points, sizes and shapes of both natural and artificial objects.
These geo-spatial data are very useful for planning and management of land resources for any meaningful development. They are useful for the generation of revenue, management of security and sitng of projects.
So the services of surveyors are very essential and should be tapped by the government.