Katsina meteorological institute set to become regional training centre

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has concluded plans to apply to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) for the upgrade of the newly established meteorological Institute in Katsina to a regional training center.

Dropping this hint, the Director General of NIMET, Professor Mansur Matazu, said the upgrade of the institute will enable other English-speaking African countries to come into Katsina or Lagos for training.

The DG said the newly established meteorological Institute will boost the agency’s technical manpower support and serve as a training centre that will be providing refresher and diligent training on impact of climate on different sectors of the economy.

Addressing journalists on activities of the agency, the DG thanked the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for his support and establishment of the meteorology school in Katsina where a National Diploma program in meteorology and National Diploma program in climate change will be offered.

According to him, the school will help immensely in building and inculcating in the younger ones that are coming at the lower level of having the understanding of basics of meteorology and also  climate change.

This is as Professor Matazu hinted of the ongoing efforts of his management towards strategizing  to implement the WMO approved  climate early warning system by looking at the forecasting in the whole value chain daily and more from generation to dissemination, while getting feedback from the users.

The NIMET DG equally mentioned how the agency had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with about eleven universities including: University of Agriculture, Umudike, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, University of Ibadan on the provision of weather stations, research collaborations and other areas of mutual benefits amongst the organizations.

Matazu also disclosed that NIMET  was implementing what he called effective user communication, whereby the agency follows and channels its forecasts to the various users and also get response from the users.

His words: “It is also one of the criteria that NIMET has emerged as one of the best places 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”.

On the type of feedback NIMET gets from farmers especially, in terms of early warning, Matazu said: “actually, we launched the NetApp popularly called Mobilemet. And we are collaborating with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other development partners especially those that are working with rural farmers and in giving communities alert schedule on impending extreme events.

“The response we are getting through this platform is one of the most important forecast disseminating platform and we started it as a pilot scheme and we are getting the support of the Federal government to expand it from this year so that we reach as many farmers as possible. In addition to physical workshops and seminars were conducted to the physical public weather forecast”.

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