Prof. Mansur Matazu, DG NiMET
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) says, it has signed Memorandum of Understanding with 11 universities in Nigeria in the areas of research collaboration, provision of weather stations and other mutual benefits.
These Universities include among others, University of Agriculture, Umudike, Ahmadu Bello University (Abu) Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, University of Ibadan.
The Director General, NiMET, Prof Mansur Matazu who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen, said NiMET, was strategizing to implement the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) approved climate early warning system by looking at the forecast in the whole value chain daily and more from generation to dissemination, while getting feedback from the users.
According to him, the agency was implementing what it called Effective User Communication, whereby they follow and channel their forecast to the various users and also get response from the users.
“It is also one of the criteria that NIMET has emerged as one of the best place as a result of this among the African countries. We are leveraging especially on the goodwill of the country and the citizens and also the performance of the forecast”.
Professor Matazu stated that, this gives the agency confidence that the forecast were achieving results, adding that, at times the user also give them advice on what they want, the rate, time, format and the frequency.
The NiMET DG who insisted that the citizens who were vulnerable to increasing extreme events to climate change activities required effective climate early warning systems, said the approach was really helping the agency in terms of carrying the users along in decision making processes.
He called on state governors to work with NIMET, as they stand a better chance of informing the citizens of the country and also to help reduce the effect of the extreme event by utilising and integrating the agency’s forecast into their annual planing activities.
“So far so good, but not so many states are keying in to this but Lagos state has been doing wonderfully well and also Katsina State and a host of other state that we are collaborating under the IFAD /FGN partnership. But there is a big room for improvements and I call on all state governments to please as a matter of urgency, that after the dissemination of the public presentation by our minister in January, that they should please liaise with the agency so that we tailor the forecast at state levels that covers the local governments and wards and all the economic sectors”.
Stressing that NIMET was comfortable being domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Prof Matazu stated that, they were getting all the support from the Federal Government, who was also helping to improve their services in other sectors.
The NIMET boss applauded the support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA and Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
The Professor of Applied Meteorology and Climatology equally thanked the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for his support and establishment of a meteorology school in Katsina where a National Diploma program in meteorology and National Diploma program in climate change would be offered.