• The Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Kabiru Gaya;
  • The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Clifford Ordia;
  • The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Works, Honourable Toby Okechukwu;
  • The Vice Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Works, Honourable Amuda Kannike Abubabar;
  • Honorable Minister of State II for Power, Works, and Housing, Surv. Suleiman Hassan Zarma, mnis;
  • Surveyor-General of the Federation of Nigeria, Surveyor Ebisintei Awudu;
  • Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
  • Members of Staff of AFRIGIST;
  • Distinguished Invited Guests/participants;
  • Gentlemen of the Press;
  • Ladies and Gentlemen.

It is my honor and privilege to welcome you all to this training/manpower development programme, which focuses essentially on how technology innovation is changing the paradigm in AFRIGIST areas of operation. I am, indeed excited to stand before this august gathering for two reasons; first, to demonstrate that AGRIGIST, together with Nigeria, is turning a new page in the field of photogrammetry. And second, to show the possibilities that this programme will birth for Nigeria and, of course, the whole of Africa. As you must have seen from the theme of this event, the training programme will explore how photogrammetry can contribute to improved governance and development.

This programme marks a watershed in the history of AFRIGIST as we are in the process of transitioning from analogue to digital operations in the field of photogrammetry. Before I continue further, I would like to briefly, for the sake of those who may not be familiar with the term, ‘photogrammetry,’ explain what it is all about. Simply put, Photogrammetry refers to collecting and analysing information from photo images. It is a 3-dimensional coordinate measuring technique that uses photographs as the fundamental medium for measurement. The fundamental principle used by photogrammetry is Aerial Triangulation. That is, by taking photographs from at least two different locations, so-called “lines of sight” can be developed from each camera to points on the object. These lines of sight or rays are mathematically intersected to produce precise 3-dimensional coordinates of the points of interest.

That said, I want to underscore here that photogrammetry is one of our major areas of operation in AFRIGIST. However, up until recently, we have been using the analogue method. It is therefore heartwarming that through the support of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are now gradually migrating to digital operations. At this point, I want to specially commend the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for her immense help in acquiring the Digital Photogrammetry Equipment, which will obviously enable our Institute analyse data better and faster. As a regional entity then, RECTAS enjoyed the support of the government of Nigeria, and now as AFRIGIST, it is our hope that the institution will continue to enjoy this support.

Distinguished invited guests and participants, I would like to further inform you that as part of the programme this week, two public lectures have been lined up to be delivered by distinguished scholars/experts in the field. One of the lectures will focus on the use of photogrammetry for election administration. This is obviously of prime importance because of its potential to improve electoral processes in Africa. Interestingly, we are all aware that Nigeria is gearing up for general elections next year! The training is therefore apt and timely. Without trying to preempt the content of that lecture, let me quickly highlight a few benefits of photogrammetry to election administration:

  • Easy redistribution of polling units in an area (due, for example, to population growth).
  • Better and a more exact constituencies delineation can be made possible.
  • Improved city administration, (for example, land administration and physical planning).
  • Mapping out of areas in cities, towns and villages with high degree of precision.
  • Other benefits include: topographic mapping, precision farming, sustainable agriculture, epidemiology and health monitoring, environmental impact assessment etc.

The benefits highlighted above will contribute not only to well-laid out environment, but are also clear demonstrations of how technology innovation in this field can improve governance and support development.

On a different note but none the less important, I wish to call your attention to the exhibition stands, which we have mounted to provide you the opportunity to have a first-hand experience of what AFRIGIST has been doing. This, we believe should further enhance your understanding of the important role our Agency is playing in building Nigeria and Africa. Please feel free to ask questions when you need clarifications from any of our staff. I assure you that you will find our activities, programmes and products fascinating, and appreciate the enormous responsibilities we are saddled with.

Before I end this speech, I want to point out that AFRIGIST recently acquired a Drone for aerial captures. Before now, we worked solely with satellite images but the acquisition of the Drone is part of our efforts to source data through multiple means. Due to the massive advantages presented by the use of the Drone, we hope to acquire more, to enable us teach and engage in practical demonstrations to our numerous students/participants at the various programmes. To that extent, we will therefore appreciate any support we can garner from governments, development partners, philanthropists, NGOs, etc. to acquire more relevant equipment that can facilitate our work.

As I end this speech, on behalf of our Council, the management and staff of AFRIGIST, I once again appreciate the presence of all our esteemed guests and participants. I wish you all a memorable experience.

Thank you and God bless.

Dr. A. O. Akingbade

Executive Director, AFRIGIST