The Office of Surveyor-General of the Federation (OSGF) has mapped out suspected locations of cannabis plantations across the country.
Mr Yusuf Aro-Lambo, Principal Surveyor, OSGF, made this known on Tuesday in Abuja, when he made presentation at the 2020 Virtual Survey Coordination Conference and Meeting of the Advisory Board on Survey Training, organised by the OSGF.
The conference with the theme; “Geospatial Information: Achievement of SDGs and Good Governance“, is aimed at ensuring effective implementation of the survey coordination Act of 1962 and its subsequent amendments to achieve the statutory roles of the OSGF.
Aro-Lambo said the OSGF produced the map through partnership with National Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA
He said cannabis remained the most widely used illicit drug substance in the world, and Nigeria remained third highest producer according to the figures by the UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC).
“The African cannabis report (2019) states that Nigeria boasts of the world`s third highest recreational cannabis prevalence rate according to figures by the UNODC, at 14.3 per cent amongst 15 to 64 year olds, the equivalent to almost 15 million users.
`Inspite of being illegal in Nigeria, cannabis is widely grown across the country in areas of Ondo, Edo, Delta, Osun, Oyo and Ogun States, “ he said.
He explained that through OSGF` geospatial information, the surveyor general office was working with the NDLEA, in tackling the menace of cannabis from its sources.
The efforts he said, was through using “Multispectral Remote Sensing Imagery“.
“This study presents a simplified workflow for detecting cannabis plantations in the Idanre forest reserve of Ondo State. The spectral measurements of cannabis and other related plants were recorded with a spectroradiometer, “ he said.
Also speaking, Samuel Taiwo, the Surveyor-General of the Federation in his welcome address, explained that the geospatial information is a tool to track, monitor, and manage any occurrence that had a location or temporary element.
He added that it is a more important element to forecast models and analysis of potential consequences from policy and events.
“Geospatial Information provides the integrative platform for all digital data that has a location dimension to it.
Also speaking, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing while commending OSGF for orgnising the conference, acknowledged that the activities of surveying and mapping remained fundamental to economic planning and national development.
Fashola added that this could be seen especially in the area of infrastructural development in the country, hence the need for such conference to save as a platform, attracting experts to contribute ideas on a way forward.
“ For me, this year’s theme is universal and quite topical; Integrated Geospatial Information Framework (IGIF) has widely been acknowledged as consequential in Demand-Driven Geospatial Products (DDGP) for effective decision-making and implementation of beneficial public policies and programmes.
“Unfortunately, many countries of the world, especially developing nations are just realizing the use of geospatial data or information as necessary elements to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and good governance, “ Fashola explained.