NGSA, AFRIGIST trains staff on use of Geospatial Information Science & Technology in Geological Map Production

Participants and Resource Persons

No less than ten technical staff of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) are currently participating in a twenty-day customized workshop on the use of Geospatial Information Science and Technology in Geological Map Production, the Director-General of the Agency has said, adding that at the end of the training which is ongoing at the African Regional Institute for Geospatial Science and Technology AFRIGIST (formerly Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys, RECTAS), the trainees will be able to visualize spatial data, and produce soft and hard copy geological maps.

Training in progress

Director-General of the NGSA, Dr. Abdulrazaq Garba who confirmed the development to our correspondent in Abuja on Thursday, said the twenty-day capacity development program which kicked off on Monday, at AFRIGIST Head-office, Ile Ife, will impact on mandate success of the Agency, stating that the training is one of the ways in which the NGSA is embracing emerging technology in the production of Geological Maps.

He said Geospatial Information Science is a cost-saving and efficient scientific technique that will be deployed by the NGSA in the quest for geological applications.

Participating staff of NGSA

Acting Director, Regional Geology, NGSA, Mr. Mustapha Mohammed who spoke to THE TRUTH on behalf of the Director-General discussed the importance of the NGSA-AFRIGIST collaboration, saying: Digital map production has been able to provide more efficient and credible digital maps, although manual methods are still indispensable but are time consuming and prone to errors,’ adding that it could lead to economic losses.

“The objectives of this training are to develop participants’ capacity on Overlay Analysis of vector data,  Visualization, Cartographic Production of maps, and to practically build upon the existing knowledge-base of NGSA staff by interactively exchanging experiences and harmonizing methodologies.

He said participants are going to be exposed to 100% hands-on practical sessions on cartographic production, adding that at the end of the training, participants will be able to visualize spatial data, and produce soft and hard copy maps.

“Participants are being engaged in practical exercises to foster mastery in use of the necessary software and hardware,” he said, adding that each day’s lessons build on the knowledge acquired in the previous weeks.

He said Geospatial Information Science and Technology will continue to advance technological development in mining especially in the era of artificial intelligence to support the application of robotics in various operations to lower the cost of operations and promote safety.

The African Regional Institute for Geospatial Science and Technology (AFRIGIST), formerly known as Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS) was established in 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as an educational “one-stop” solution institution that trains highly skilled manpower in geospatial information science and technology, and its applications. The Institute is a bilingual (English and French) inter-governmental joint institution for Africa, with full diplomatic accreditation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its membership is open to all African countries.  The member countries at the moment are eight (8) namely: Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria (the host country) and Senegal. New countries have recently joined the Institute: Cote-d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau and Liberia.

While saying that Geospatial Information Science and Technology (GIST) involves Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Science, Mapping and Positioning Systems, he explained that the full benefits of GIST like any other technology could be harnessed only with a good human capacity. “It is therefore necessary to develop the human capacity of the NGSA by improving our use of GIST.”

According to the Director-General, the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) is saddled with the responsibility of providing relevant and up-to-date geoscience information necessary for economic development of Nigeria through a systematic process of gathering, collating, assessment and dissemination of all information related to rocks, minerals and groundwater resources of the country.

He said: “GIST therefore finds extensive application in the activities of NGSA as the operations of NGSA are largely dependent on the availability of accurate and up-to-date geospatial information about rocks, minerals and ground water resources.”

While saying that the need for capacity building by staff of the NGSA cannot be overemphasized, he noted that the training will focus on cartographic production of geological information. This, he said is in line with the commitment of the current Management of the NGSA to develop a robust capacity in Geospatial Information Science and Technology for accelerated development and growth, adding that the training is specifically tailored to meet the capacity needs of the NGSA as an organization capable of providing credible geoscience data.

Leave a Reply