By James Ezema
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Thursday in Abuja, announced the date that it would release 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), just as it announced that hundreds of staff of the agency were promoted in 2019 while 9 got upgraded.
Director General, Prof. Sani Mashi, who made these known at the news conference on the forthcoming 2020 seasonal rainfall prediction said the SRP will be released on on January 21.
According to him, 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 and mitigation.
Others, he said, are tourism, sports, health, building and construction, energy sectors among others in the course of the year.
“In order to help policy makers and farmers plan ahead, we wish to announce that this year’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction will be unveiled to general public on Tuesday, Jan.21, 2020 at the NAF Conference Centre, Abuja.
“Forecast information that have been provided include; the onset and cessation dates of the 2020 rainy season; 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. The socio-economic implications of the expected rainfall and temperature patterns for major sectors of the economy will also be discussed during the event, “ he said.
Prof. Mashi said NiMet had witnessed increase from 54 to over 157 meteorological stations within three years and had acquired ISO 9001:2015 for Aeronautical Meteorological Services (AMS) delivery as first meteorological organisation in Africa to achieve the feat.
He added that the agency also acquired ISO 29990:2010 for training services at the Regional Training Centre, Lagos, to be the first again in Africa.
“On this, NiMet`s meteorological institution is the only institution in Africa and one of the seven in the world to have achieved this ISO Certification.
“In addition to the WMO RTC NiMet is operating, we have also established a new National Meteorological Training Institute in Katsina, where we shall be training Nigerians in Meteorology at OND and HND levels.
“National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has already granted provisional approval for commencement of the programme.
“Our first batch of students shall resume in September 2020. The institute is the only one in Africa, but second in the world beside the South American Training Institute in Ecuador,“ he said.
Mashi commended efforts of the stakeholders involved in achieving new and improved condition of service for the agency.
On the promotion of staff the Director General explained that “Since the coming of this Administration, Promotion Exercise in the Agency has been regular, for instance in 2019 alone: 379 Officers were promoted,105 Officers were advanced to the new grade level, 9 Officers were upgraded and 19 Officers were converted.”
According to him, NiMet “Management in collaboration with Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Agency’s based Unions and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment constituted a Committee to review the Agency’s Conditions of Service. After a thorough work, the document was forwarded to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOSF), through Federal Ministry of Aviation for consideration and approval. In December 2019, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation approved the Conditions of the Service for the Agency. We have already published copies of this noble document for distribution to all staff of the agency”, he explained.
Responding to questions by news men, Prof. Mashi attributed the hash weather conditions currently being witnessed in parts of the country to changes in climatic weather patterns of the world, saying that Nigerian climate was simply responding to the changes of weather pattern of the world.
“This year, we have witnessed a lot of weather changes that had never been witnessed before as a result of changes in weather patterns over the source region and this accounts for situation whereby temperature as low as six degree Celsius was recorded in some parts of the country,” he stated.
He noted that Nigerian weather is being controlled by three different air masses, including the northeasterly wind from the Sahara and the south westerly wind from the Atlantic ocean, adding that the two winds moving at opposite direction are largely responsible for the rains being witnessed recently in the country.
“The other one is responsible for bringing the dryness, dusty and windy nature weather and that depending on the time of the year and the location, the air masses tend to be very active.“Over the last two years, there has been increased intensity of north easterly wind and the implication of this is that we should expect increased intensity of particularly the condition the wind is creating in Nigeria.”
“But however, because the source region is Sahara and it is coming from the northeastern direction, then it means the intensity of the wind will be greater. This explains the reasons the harmattan, including the dust haze, seem to be greater towards the North,” he said.
He said that if there is increase in the intensity of the rain as a result of changes in the pattern of the climate, the intensity would be higher towards the southern part and lower towards the North.