The Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), has scored President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration high on war against Boko Haram terrorists especially the release of another batch of 82 kidnapped Chibok school girls.
The body, which appraised the three cardinal campaign promises of the Federal Government, appealed to the President to intensify his negotiations to ensure that all the remaining girls still in Boko Haram’s captivity regained their freedom.
Speaking in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, at the weekend, after its 52nd Annual General Meeting and Conference, NIS said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government hit the ground running by formulating strategies to achieve its promises on security, fight against corruption and the economy.
In his address, the President of NIS, Akinloye Oyegbola, said: “We want to appreciate the efforts of the President. We know that he has three cardinal objectives he wants to achieve which are security, fight against corruption and the economy.
“No sooner did he take over as the President of the country than he put up the strategy. The result is all for us to see. We appreciate the efforts especially the release of another 82 of the Chibok girls.
“We will implore that he continues the negotiation such that eventually we will be able to have all the girls released”.
On the war against corruption, Oyegbola while giving a pass mark to the anti-graft agencies, however, told them that people were more interested in convictions than media trials.
He urged the agencies to formulate a more robust strategy aimed at thoroughly investigating cases and satisfying all legal requirements before charging them to courts.
Using the case of the arrested judges as an example, the NIS boss said despite the noise that characterised their arrest, the suspects were beginning to regain their freedom.
He said: “While we can see that there is an effort in the right direction, we can say that maybe it is necessary for our organ working on it to really have a more robust strategy. It should not only try to publicly judge the suspects. It should see us look at them as suspects and eventually have their case in court early enough and in conclusive manner.
“This is because most times we only hear and at the end of the day after the euphoria what happens? We will start hearing that they are released and then we begin to wonder who did not do his job well.
“I think the agency should try to do a bit more on how to package these things for the court, know what is required for conviction and you know if you fall short of it, you can’t get the convictions. So, I think they should do a thorough job.
“We are not in a hurry to know. We are here to know all the time. If you are not sure you can get a conviction, why go to court? We may not even know when they are going to court, it is better we know when there is conviction. So that we see it as concluded.
“Look at what happened to the judges. It is a technical thing. Little by little these judges are now being released and look at the hullaballoo that went with it. You can’t convict anybody without a competent court, so you don’t make us convict them on pages of newspapers or screens of television”.
On the economy, Oyegbola commended the government for its policies to support and grow the local industries adding that the country was beginning to have a viable rice industry.
But he urged the government to strike a balance in its control of the local currency since it lacked the power to control prices.
“Where we are still controlling price, something somewhere is still not right and you are feeding somebody very fat. Leave it to run itself and be there to monitor it. The control is not the issue”, he said.
On the roles played by surveyors in the economy, Oyegbola said the functions of members of NIS had become more pronounced in the efforts of the government to diversify the economy.
He observed that the government had made progress in the extractive industry saying surveyors must be consulted to determine where solid minerals were located and how to extract them.
“We thought it was necessary to actually quickly come up with strategies to make whatever attempts that the government may be coming up with in that direction a highly sustainable one,” he said.