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Nigerian waters not well surveyed

By Godwin Oritse
THE Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Hydrographic Society (NHS), Surveyor Olumide Omotosho,  has warned against  the inadequate practice of hydrographic practice in Nigeria saying that “the nation’s security and safety  could depend on a well surveyed marine environment during a war situation.

In a chat with Vanguard in Lagos recently, Omotosho stated that besides the issue of  security and safety, the economic benefit of hydrographic industry is enormous.
He disclosed  that the hydrographic industry also has the potential of generating thousands of job opportunities that could absorbed the nation’s jobless youths.

Omotosho noted that the practice of Hydrography in Nigeria is still at its lowest ebb, adding that only a few companies are currently  offering hydrographic services
He also disclosed that the low practice of hydrographic science was responsible for  the loss of Admiral Joe Abulu in an election into the International Hydrographic Organisation in Monaco  Spain  four years ago.

“It is obvious, going by what I said that we are still not a serious player in the hydrographic realm, things have improved a bit and I will tell you that there are different collaborations in different areas.

“The hydrographer of the Nigerian Navy as at today is the Chairman of the East Atlantic Hydrographic Commission”.

Omotosho who is also the principal Manager in charge of Hydrography and dredging in the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) suggested that a fund be set up to finance the science of hydrography in Nigeria

‘The potential and the economic benefits that can be derived from the practice of  hydrography are enormous and I will take one after the other.

“You can use hydrography for navigation , you can use it  for marine infrastructural development like developing a new port, again you can use it for  coastal zone management, hydrography is the bedrock for any thing in marine.

You can use it for marine environmental protection programme, pollution control, oil and gas exploration and exploitation through the use of geo-physical survey, hydrography is also used for tourism, it is good for national security you need to know the under water characteristics to be able to plan a marine war fare

“To do your marine war fare, you need to know the under water surface and here hydrography meteorology comes to play, you need to know what the environment looks like, you need to know the current, you need to know the wind direction , you need to know a couple of things within the marine environmental area even the sound velocity, you need to know it.

All these are for national defence and security. Ultimately, you need to have a research and development aspect of hydrography that gives you data so that you can chart. the waters accordingly.

“With the new technology in hydrography, you can the breeding ground of fishes, you see their breeding ground because our technology is a like a camera now , you will the breeding ground of fishes and you take that to the national resort and you isolate it and begin to breed fishes from there and plan  accordingly.

“For research and development every maritime nation needs to prediction of tide, they need to be able to say if tsunami can happen in Nigeria, and you need to create benchmark to  monitor your sea level rise, you need to research to know . He stated.