Saturday, 21 January 2012

Nigerian Mapping Agency Unveils N170,000 Mapping & Geospatial Blogging Competition For Nigerian Students

The Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF) -Nigeria's mapping agency in collaboration with Spatial Technologies Ltd (STL)-Nigeria's foremost mapping and GIS solution provider is inviting students in Nigerian tertiary institutions studying Surveying, and Geographic Information (GI) related courses to enter into a blogging competition codenamed Project Zuma.

Project Zuma -an online competition named after the popular and legendary Zuma rock in Niger State is a strategic online campaign designed to improve and strengthen the online information and brand awareness of Nigerian GIS, map based solutions, Location Based Services, etc.

Professor Peter Nwilo -the newly appointed Surveyor General Of the Federation said, "Project Zuma is expected to provide the platform to improve the online search profile of Nigerian mapping industry regarding news, information, who is doing what within the industry. The project is also expected to improve the creativeness and innovations of our students. This we believe would transform Nigerian GI industry from being a sluggish, uninspired industry to a vibrant, innovative and technology savvy mapping industry providing a wealth of information about the emerging industry to the internet community in a consistent and efficient "

According to Ireti Ajala -the CEO of STL, "In 2011, there were over 40million internet users in Nigeria. That figure is certainly more than the entire population of some countries across the world! A large percentage of Nigerian internet population is made up of students. The implication of this is that Nigerian students contribute immensely and consistently to the global internet traffic. The idea behind project Zuma is to engage Nigerians studying Surveying and other geospatial related courses across Nigerian tertiary institutions constructively and assist them to channel their intellectual capacity, creativity and vibrancy towards an agenda of national development and other  worthy projects instead of wasting precious time and money on social network gossips via Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, etc"

Why Blogs?
The Internet represents an unlimited opportunity for an industry brand, and blogs are just one of many platforms that can benefit the Nigerian GI Industry by providing a wealth of information to investors, researchers, academics, corporate companies in Nigeria, students, Government and others interested in Nigerian GI Industry . Blogs could also assist Nigerian students studying geospatial related courses to keep abreast of what is happening around them and learn to articulate their thoughts and perceptions in their chosen industry to reach a wider community.

Objectives of Poject Zuma
  1. To connect with Nigerian geospatial professionals and students of Surveying, GIS, Geography, etc across the country.
  2. To improve the brand profile of Nigerian geospatial industry and make it more attractive to a wider audience in Nigeria.

Competition Qualifications
To enter the Zuma competition, you must be a Nigerian student either at undergraduate or post graduate level studying any of the following Geospatial courses:
  • Surveying
  • Geography
  • GIS
  • Computer Science
  • Geology
  • Architecture
  • Estate Management
  • Other geography related course

Other Requirements
  • The blog must focus ONLY on the Nigerian Geospatial Industry
  • It must be maintained for at least 2months.
  • You must keep it fresh and updated regularly by posting news, articles, innovations, etc about what is happening in the Nigerian GI Industry, atleast once in 2weeks.
  • You must link each post to your Facebook page and encourage your friends to create links to your posts from their Facebook pages

Possible Topics for Blogging
  1. News about how Nigerian companies are using GIS, maps data, etc in their operations and the outcomes. (this is the who is doing what in the Nigerian GI Industry)
  2. Information about how government ministries and agencies (either at Federal, State or Local Govt level) are currently using or promoting the use of Geospatial solutions for specific operations as effective tools for  improving the standard of living in Nigeria
  3. What are the flaws in the current curriculum of tertiary institutions teaching Surveying, GIS, Geography and other geospatial related courses in this era of Information Technology and how can these be improved?
  4. What online Map based applications can be built using Google map API and what possible opportunities are there to monetise these within the context of Nigeria?
  5. What Mobile mapping applications could be developed and monetise within Nigeria
  6. Others

Criteria for Judging the best Blog
  1. Dept of content
  2. Style of writing
  3. Accuracy of information provided
  4. Relevance to Nigerian GI industry
  5. Number of relevant or useful posts found on the blog
  6. Number of followers on your blog
  7. Number of blog posts linked to your Facebook page. This means that you must get your Facebook friends to embed links to your posts on their Facebook pages

Panel of Judges
The best blog would be selected by an independent panel of judges comprising GIS experts, Geographers and Surveyors based on the criteria listed above. The winners of Project Zuma competition would be invited to a press briefing venue in Lagos to develop and pitch the idea behind their winning blogs before a selected audience of stakeholders in Nigerian GI industry.

Celebrating the winning Blogs and Authors
OSGOF and Spatial Technologies Ltd would use a high profile online social advertising campaign, utilising innovative digital technologies alongside mechanics such as Facebook, Blogs, online press releases, etc to create awareness for Project Zuma both during and after the competition. The campaign will also improve the online search profile of the winning authors and could greatly improve their chances of getting good jobs after their graduation.

How to Enter the Competition
1. Send an email to to register for the competition (remember to put Project Zuma in the subject title)

2. Your email must include the following details:
  • Your full name
  • The name of your school
  • Your level
  • Your course of study
  • The topic for your blog
  • The URL for the blog

3. You will need to scan and send as an email attachment a copy of your student ID card. This will provide conclusive evidence that you are truly a Nigerian student.
Please note that this competition is opened to both Undergraduate and Postgraduate students in either Polytechnics or Universities across Nigeria)

Important Dates
• Competition Start Date: March 05, 2012
• Competition End Date: May 01, 2012
• Award ceremony: May 12, 2012

1. First prize will get N100,000 cash
2. Second prize is N50,000 cash
3. Third Prize is N20,000 cash

Tools to assist.
1. How to start your own blog
2. Creating a FREE blog using Google Blog
3. Creating a FREE blog using WordPress

Examples of  Blogs dedicated to Geospatial matters (Nigerian Geographic Intelligence Awareness) (Anything Geospatial) (ESRI GIS Education Community)
• (GIS Pathway Blog) (Surveying, Mapping and GIS)

Direct all your queries or questions to Ireti Ajala

About Office of Surveyor General of the Federation
The office of the Surveyor General of the Federation (OSGOF) is statutorily saddled with the responsibility of providing and coordinating surveying and mapping activities within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
As the central depository for Survey, mapping and Geo-information activities in the country, state survey departments, oil companies, private practitioners and institutions are required by law (cap 194) to inform the (OSGOF) of their surveying and mapping projects

About Spatial Technologies Ltd
Spatial Technologies Ltd (STL) is Nigeria’s foremost GIS solution provider and supplier of accurate digital maps and GIS data. We specialize in developing geospatial databases about Nigeria for the Nigerian market. Today, with offices in Lagos and UK, we stand on the threshold of solid expansion and opportunity in the industries we serve. And we are investing the resources that will help enable that growth


  1. This is highly commendable! Keep up the good work OSGOF

  2. This is the first time Nigerian students would be engaged positively at this level. As more people get access to the internet in Nigeria, we certainly need more positive content about Nigeria. And what better way to achieve this than to encourage Nigerian students to channel their intellectual creativity towards worthy projects like the Project Zuma. I am really impressed to see Nigerian Office of Surveyor General Of the Federation and Ireti Ajala championing this worthy cause for Nigerian mapping and GIS industry. Well done guys and we certainly need more collaborations like this for other sectors of Nigerian economy -Bolu Ayorinde

  3. @Bolu Ayorinde, thank you for your positive feedback. We need you and other stakeholders in Nigerian geospatial industry to partner with us in moving our industry forward. Please tell your friends and colleagues to keep visiting our blog.

  4. We are happy to announce that we have received some early entries already in the first few days of Project Zuma. We are certainly encouraged to see Nigerian students responding to Project Zuma very positively. Seeing how much feedback we are receiving, we are now asking ourselves why we did not think of this idea much earlier.

    We shall be featuring some of these entries on our blog in the next few weeks and encouraging the general public to assist in creating a social network buzz around what these students are blogging about by linking them to your facebook pages, etc. We feel this is required to celebrate the Nigerian students.

    We encourage more people to send us their entries for Project Zuma. Remember the competition starts proper on March 05, 2012.
    Please tell your friends, colleagues and others about this competition and encourage them to send their entries as well, remember there is a cash prize to be won.

    You can contact us on either or for more clarification

  5. I wish to commend OSGOF for this initiative. I am currently studying for a Masters degree in GIS here in Canada, is project zuma opened to Nigerian students studying abroad?

    1. @Ike, thank you for your commendation. We regret to inform you that Project Zuma is opened to only Nigerian students studying within Nigeria.

  6. hello osgof, my friend just sent me a link to this competition. How do i register for the competition?

    1. @Adeyemi Opabunmi, to register for the competition, you must do the followings:
      1. Set up your free blog (see our blog for tools to assist you in doing this)
      2. Post one or two articles about any aspect of Nigerian mapping or geospatial industry.
      3. Regsiter your blog for the competition by sending a mail with details of you and your blog url to Mr Ireti Ajala ( Mr Ajala coordinates the competition.

      Do not hesitate to contact us for more clarification and remember to tell your your friends who are still in school about Project Zuma.

  7. May I use this medium to commend the OSGOF for this competition. Are NYSC corpers eligible to take part in project Zuma?