By Sumaila Ogbaje
Abuja – The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) says it is targeting to have at least 1,000 weather stations in the country in the next four years.
The Director General of NiMet Prof. Sani Mashi disclosed this while receiving the Secretary General, World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Mr. Pereri Taalas, on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mashi said although the agency needed just about 9,000 weather stations to effectively cover the entire country due to the huge landmass, he was targeting 1,000 stations within his four year tenure in office.
He said he met 54 weather stations upon assumption of office over a year ago, adding that the number had grown to over 100 stations.
According to him, NiMet functions not only in providing meteorological services to aviation but to other sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas and marine sectors.
“NiMet is expected to have not less than 1,000 meteorological stations before the end of my four year tenure in office.
“We have in the last one year established a number of stations in different parts of the country through partnership with educational institutions.
“I inherited 54 stations in 2017 when I assumed office but we are already moving close to 200 to be attained before the end of the year,” he said.
Mashi told the WMO scribe that the policy thrust of his administration was the improvement in the management and technical infrastructure as well as capacity building and enhancement of capability.
He said that aviation had been the major consumer of NiMet services, adding that the agency had recently moved towards addressing the meteorological needs in the agricultural sector since a vast majority of Nigerians were farmers.
Responding, Taalas said there was the need to strengthen the capacity and capability of the agency by the government to be able mitigate the impact of climate change.
He commended the expertise of NiMet in recent times with the support of the WMO.
According to him, temperature has been rising because there is 1.1°c degrees Celsius and that shows that there is need for stronger meteorological and hydrological services and also stronger WMO.
“There is more and more WMO expertise and national meteorological services.
“Unfortunately, Africa is the most sensitive region when it comes to the impact of climate change and many African countries are highly dependent on agriculture.
“And so there is need to strengthening our service agencies as we have seen here because you are a good example of sustainable organisation in terms of service capability of WMO,” he said.