Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) thursday disclosed that it is set to commence metrological courses in Ordinary National Diploma (OND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) by September 2020.
The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, made the disclosure in Abuja while briefing journalists on the forthcoming 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction.
The DG stated that the agency has established a new National Meteorological Training Institute in Katsina State, where it shall train Nigerians, noting that provisional approval for commencement of the programmes has already been granted by National Board for Technical Education (NBTE).
According to him, “Our first batch of students shall resume in September 2020. This is not only the first in Africa, but the second in the world beside the South American Training Institute in Ecuador.”
Mashi, while speaking further, noted that he discovered that among other challenges, the agency fell short of the requirement of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as regards the number of meteorological stations when he assumed office.
He said: “Of course, this was so because of the paucity of funds despite the federal government continuous support of the agency, for which we remain grateful. To stem the tide, we had to devise and implement a solution; we decided to partner tertiary institutions in the country.
“This synergy, by way of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) birthed upgrades, and in some instances, outright installation of new meteorological equipment. Due largely to these interventions and many other international collaborations, we have witnessed an increase from 54 to over 157 meteorological stations and this is still ongoing in every nook and cranny of the country.”
While speaking on this year seasonal rainfall prediction, Mashi said: “The 2020 rainfall prediction will highlight vital information that may affect socio-economic activities in the air, land and water transportation; agriculture, water resources, disaster management, mitigation, tourism, health, sports among others.
“We wish to announce that this year’s SRP would be unveiled to the public on January 21, 2020, at the NAF Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja.
Mashi added that forecast information that would have been provided include the outset and cessation dates of the 2020 rainy seasons; the downscaled total amount of rainfall expected in all the 774 local government areas of the country, temperature forecast as well as malaria and meningitis forecast.