The Nigerian government has begun a process for the digitalisation and standardisation of street naming and numbering across the country.
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja at the second meeting of the National Addressing System (NAS) Committee.
He said it has become necessary for the country to adjust the NAS from analogue to digital.
Mr Shittu explained how difficult it is for people to locate various places within the country.
“If more than two streets have the same name within a state, the postal man to discharge messages to a street will be confused about the location to go to,” he said.
The minister said the NAS committee’s move will tackle such challenge and aid accessibility.
The postal code will also be adjusted in the plan.
Mr Shittu is also the Chairman of NAS committee.
He said postcode and addressing are as important as the mobile phones people use regularly.
Mr Shittu said the NAS is aimed at positively impacting on the economy and social development in the country.
NAS is domiciled at the Nigeria Postal Service through the Federal Ministry of Communications.
“In other countries, even before development, they were well planned, road connections are seen. But the contrast is the case in Nigeria,” he said.
He said the only planned cities in Nigeria are Abuja and Port Harcourt.
” We want to ensure that we are able to identify everybody’s address by the name of the street and postal code also,” he said.
He said the government can not fund the implementation of the NAS programme, hence, strategies will be developed to attract funding partners to participate in the activities with shared benefit in focus.
Mr Shittu emphasised the need to set up addressing infrastructure items such as National Addressing Data Ecosystem (NADE), that will enhance the performance of the NAS.
He said the approval for the infrastructure items was granted last year by the National Economic Council.
“NADE will comprise software that will link all addressing Data GIS offices in all the 774 local government areas through their state offices to the National Addressing Database,” he said.
“The National Database and the National Bureau of Statistics portal are essential for the easy take off of the Addressing Data Collection from the field”, Mr Shittu said.
“Interested software developers are expected to participate in an open procurement process for the development of the addressing software and associated tools for its management,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Musa Istifanus, said the NAS committee’s responsibilities are vast, thus, require adequate planning and timelines to achieve seamless project implementation.
He urged the committee members to perform their duties for the socio-economic development of the country.
“The NAS committee are urged to bring their expertise to bear in the discharge of this national assignment , which is to build a dependable National Addressing System,” he said.
The National Secretary of NAS, Julius Anjorin, said the committee is to ensure that every Individual is accessible in Nigeria.
“In Nigeria, a lot of places are not properly addressed, NAS will ensure that all nook and cranny is addressed,” he said.
“Streets are going to be named, they are going to be named digitally and electronically,” he said.
He said the digitalisation will assist in commerce, building and also attract foreign investors.
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