By Archibong Jeremiah
There seems to be no love lost currently between the chairman of the Cross River State chapter of the Nigeria Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Gertrude Njah and the Surveyor General of the state Eyo Oku, over allegations of quackery in the issuance of survey plans and certificates of lodgements CrossRiverWatch can authoritatively report.
The Surveyor General had told our newsroom in a telephone interview that “My staff cannot collaborate with quacks, rather it is one or two practicing surveyors that are fond of buying numbers and using other surveyors’ number” when CrossRiverWatch contacted him to react to allegations that staff in his office were in the business of faking signatures and professional seals, issuing fake survey plans amongst others.
This did not augur well with the NIS boss who when contacted by CrossRiverWatch said she has 30 questions for the surveyor general hinting he will be dealt with on a professional basis.
Surveyor Njah told CrossRiverWatch that “You may wish to ask him these questions; if Mr. Willy Akpama his absconded contract staff is a Surveyor? Ask him how many registered surveyors are working with him in the office of the Surveyor General of the State? Ask him the duties of the Cross River State Geographic Information Agency and if the staffs there are registered surveyors? Ask him the meaning of counter-signing of survey plans which has long been abrogated and the template he is using for issuance of Certificate of Occupancy (C. of O.) on Private Surveyor’s Survey Plans. Ask him how much does he generate from Charting of Survey Plans and what he remits to Government?
Continuing, Gertrude said, “Ask him what he generates from survey plans lodgements and what he remits to Government? Ask him if he uses the surveyor’s scale of fees when he is costing survey jobs for clients or Government? Ask him how many zonal offices does he have in the State? How many Registered surveyors has he in his zonal offices, how often does he visit these offices and how does he regulate the practice in those areas? Ask him how many seals of his late colleagues has he recovered since he came into office? Ask him why certificates of lodgements is suddenly regarded as more important than survey plans and if these certificate of lodgements is acceptable as collateral in banks and if it is backed by Law? Ask the Surveyor General what he knows about Chain-men; Technicians & Survey Technologists?
“Ask him what has happened to surveyors who have retired or are late and what has happened to the staffs working with them? Ask him how many contract staffs has he employed since coming into office and how many are registered surveyors? Let him define quacks. Ask him how is his working relationship with his office staffs and his professional colleagues? What are his contributions to His Excellency’s signature projects as a surveyor and how has he projected the professionals in the State? Ask him if he is aware that surveyors from outside the State are now working on the superhighway project and the place of local content as home base professionals are not involved? Ask him as you are reliably informed that the first 15km starting from the Bakassi axis was handled by surveyors in the State and that they have put in over N10m into the project, when are they going to be paid and why has he stopped communicating with them on the issue? Ask him which other survey practice apart from cadastral practice goes on in the State and how much funds does he generate for Government?
“Ask him the meaning of Cadastre? How does he update his records? Ask him how many bank accounts does he operate on behalf of Government? Ask the Surveyor General what he does with his so called SURCON SSCE operational account with Zenith Bank? And who are the signatories to the account? Ask him the meaning of SSCE & its composition? And how he has been operating it? Who carried out the preliminary survey of the superhighway he claimed had been done that he submitted to the EIA report (contractor) or to his Excellency as he reported during the EIA Public hearing? What was his working relationship with the immediate past Commissioner for Lands and the current one? When was the last Orthophoto mapping was carried out? What influence or impact does it have in charting survey plans? How often is it expected to be updated? Is it Lawful for him to use Government letter headed paper to seek for private loan? How has he faired since he came into Office as Surveyor General?”
“We as a house will meet with him to be clarified on that then the outcome we will surely let you know” she concluded.
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