NIGERIAN Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUA), Abia State as part of efforts to increase the density of its meteorological stations across the country and fulfill the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) requirement for the establishment of weather stations around the country.
The MoU is also set to further promote meteorological research, training and capacity building at the Agency’s corporate headquarters in Abuja.
In a statement signed by General Manager Public Relations, Muntari Yusuf Ibrahim, the Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, said the partnership is in tandem with his administration’s mandate to create partnership with relevant stakeholders that would enhance productivity in weather and climate information and generation.
Adding that this information is needed in all economic sectors especially the agricultural sector that is weather dependent, which NiMet renders a lot of services including product generation such as the Agro-meteorology bulletin on a 10-days basis, short, medium and annual rain forecasts in the fulfillment of our mandate which is to promote research in weather and climate matter, hence the essence of this collaboration.
Prof. Matazu added that the collaboration is to aid the provision of relevant tools that targets at enhancing the delivery of products and services to various sectors related to meteorology or climatology and climate change in Nigeria. “The MoU demonstrates the Agency and University’s willingness to jointly carry out research activities leading to quality output in meteorology and climate change studies and to also help in deepening the presence of NiMet in that region”.
Prof. Matazu at the event noted that it is a long practice of the Agency to partner with educational institutions as the Agency can boast of signing MoU with more than 15 different universities and as such this is a formal way of sealing the existing relationship with Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture.
While highlighting the Agency’s milestones in research development, Prof. Matazu disclosed that NiMet has facilitated the establishment of weather stations in 113 higher institutions in Nigeria and more than 80 universities benefited from it.
He added that part of the reasons for having weather stations in the universities, in addition to training purposes, is to decentralize access to and sources of meteorological data.
The DG also who observed that the station already meets World Meteorological Organization standard, explained that plans are ongoing to upgrade it to a synoptic station.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of MOUA, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe said with the help of NiMet, the University can reliably predict weather forecast as it has always been difficult to predict rightly.
The Vice Chancellor expressed gratitude to the Agency for the collaboration.