Land is an essential component of a state’s economy, as no meaningful development can take place without its use. It constitutes a substantial portion of a State’s wealth. Little wonder it is the first of the four factors of production on which the remaining three factors-labours, capital and entrepreneur rely for survival. It is immobile, fixed and limited in supply.
Research has revealed that almost 80 per cent of development activities take place on land, hence the need for efficient information management of its use through Geographic Information System.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, there can be no sustainable development without secured land rights.
In order to achieve a secured land right as anticipated, a Geographic Information System framework, basically for gathering, managing and analysing data is required.
It is a system designed for capturing, storing, checking, analyzing and displaying data related to land, providing visual representation of data associated with land administration and management. It is considered a versatile technology that can be used in managing land records and revolutionising modern data collection and analysis.
In view of the evolving digital technology, most countries of the world have begun the computerisation of their land records, thereby creating a sound land information system with the capacity of providing on-line access to a comprehensive set of land and property information. States in Nigeria such as Oyo, Kaduna, Lagos, Edo, Benue, Niger, Bauchi, Cross River, Nasarawa States and Abuja among others have keyed into the establishment of GIS.
The adoption of GIS technology in land administration and management by the Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey was intended to provide adequate and reliable information on land that is captured into the system for it to effectively perform the land documentation task in the state.
The Bureau’s Geographic Information System in land administration and management seeks to maintain productivity and enhance service delivery. The adoption of automation, which is a hallmark of an efficient service delivery, is in line with the goal of the present administration to automate the entire transactional activities of the Bureau which include, but not limited to, making online payment platforms available.
Other benefits of the upgraded Geographic Information System include general digitalisation of the state’s land and fast tracking land titling. The use of GIS will reduce time required to perfect documentations, thereby increasing the number of titles per time and automatically improve the revenue generation of the Bureau and the state government at large.
Another benefit of GIS is that it makes records of lands accessible, more reliable and easily stored, preventing incidences of double or multiple allocations thereby bringing litigation issues to the barest minimum. A GIS based land administration also facilitates processing of data, storage and retrieval of land records and other services, as well as reducing illegal activities relating to land matters. The state government will have no stress in retrieving land records whenever the need arises and this will further aid document management and safety on land related matters for future purposes.
For full implementation of GIS regime in land administration and management, the Bureau in conjunction with German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ-SEDIN) organised training for professionals with the theme: “Application of GIS to land Administration,” where the procedures of GIS application and technicalities involved were adequately introduced to the participants to update their knowledge in digitalisation, to aid operational strategies.
The Bureau has also stopped manual billing system and assessment with the introduction of an electronic billing system known as Pay Value which has enhanced transparency in land matters. Bills are now electronically generated, bringing an end to the era of manual generation of bills with all its shortcomings.
This effort of the government on land administration, apart from turning the state to an industrial hub through rapid infrastructural development, will also reposition its economy. The development will enhance the system of managing and delivering data in a new perspective as well as getting adequate and functional feedback. With the system, the public can now search on-line for any information regarding land matters in the state with ease.
Fadairo is the Press Officer, Ogun State Bureau of Lands and Survey, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State.