By Ijeoma Olorunfemi
The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) has commenced training for geospatial data producers in states within the Northern region, urging them to ensure availability of data that would enable development.
The training is organised under the Geo-Referenced Infrasturcture and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project implemented through NASRDA in collaboration with other stakeholders.
GRID3 is part of a bigger global initiative programme aimed at improving access to data for decision making among the member countries.
Dr Matthew Adepoju, Head, Cadastral Mapping and Urban Space Applications Division of NASRDA,disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja.
Adepoju, also Chairman, GRID3 Project Implementation Team, said the training piloted in six states, including the FCT according to geo-political zone, began on April 6 and expected to end on April 30.
The states for the pilot training included Kaduna for North Central, Niger for North West, Bauchi for North East, Lagos for South West, Enugu for South East and Cross River for South South regions.
Adepoju said the North regional training started on April 6 and expected to end April 16, while the second phase for Sourthern region would hold from April 19 to 30.
Adepoju explained geospatial data as data or information that have explicit association with a location relative to the Earth or a technology that allows for mapping of locations.
The project chairman further disclosed that with the training, state governments are expected to share the geospatial data of resources in their states, their locations on the GRID3 portal.
“GRID3 Nigeria project aims to increase access to data for use by State government decision makers, donor agencies, non-profit organisations, private sector partners through the continuous availability of a robust and updated GRID3 geodatabase.
“It also aims to improve capacity of data managers to make data available to be integrated into planning processes for decision makers through capacity building activities across the country.
“The ultimate goal of the project is to ensure that Nigerian people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, benefit from an evidence-based resource distribution and data driven policy-making by decision makers,” he said.
He added that the project will also increase coordination in the collection and management of data in Nigeria through the GRID3 portal.
According to him, with Nigeria joining comity of space faring nations in 2003 and the launch of NigeriaSat-1 satellite, have provided opportunity for scientists to engage in research using remote sensing data.
The chairman said the country have made progress in geo-information related technologies especially in disaster management, security, telemedicine, navigation and agriculture, among other sectors.
He, however, said that this is another testament to the great strides in the peaceful uses of home-grown solution to ensure timely and quality delivery of government policy and programmes for good governance based on geospatial data driven initiatives.
He said: “Cross River state has large deposit of gas, we need to know the locations for the global community to be aware.
“Industralisation requires land, capital and other components and we have formation of other resources in different states that can attract investors to the advantage of enhanced resources leading to good governance, economic buoyancy and better lives for citizens,” Adepoju said.
He assured of NASRDA’s commitment in the management, hosting, and maintenance of all GRID3 data and the portal on behalf of the Federal Government.
Adepoju said that NASRDA have prioritised the long-term integration and sustainability of geospatial analytics in the country as required by GRID3 Nigeria Project.
The project chairman said NASRDA would be responsible for collaborating with various ministries, departments and agencies at national and sub-national levels to integrate and harmonise any government hosted geospatial data into the GRID3 Nigeria portal.
“FCT is expected to make all declassified geospatial datasets available on the GRID3 Portal.
“The project is donating hardware to FCT Geo-Information System Centre, comprising of two high end workstations for data processing, use case, etc, as well as N20,000 monthly for a period of twelve months for internet subscription to support their activities,” he said.
He added that same amount is being given to the states where the programme is piloted and need assessment report done in March 2020 to support their activities.
NAN recalls that the national data producers workshop held from March 16 to 25 in Abuja, while global and national information about GRID3 can be found on www.grid3.gov.ng and www.grid3.org.