BusinessDay

NiMet increases pollution monitoring stations to boost air travel

...trains over 700 workers in one year

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) says it has increased the presence of its air pollution monitoring stations across the country with new ones in Sokoto and Maiduguri being installed to track pollution dispersion and provide pollution forecast, thereby boosting air travel.

The Mansur Matazu, director general NiMet, who disclosed to journalists on his activities in the past one year, revealed that the agency was also saddled with the responsibility of pollution monitoring.

Matazu explained that at present, the agency has also acquired additional automatic weather stations which is about 200 being installed across the country which has increased its network of operations and also utilisation of data from such stations and information to help improve the precision on its forecasts.

“We give glory to God for the inspiration and the support we are getting from our parent ministry which is Federal Ministry of Aviation. We are planning to network other stations that are not being operated by NiMet such as stations in Nigerian River Basins Authority stations, Water Boards and other critical areas. We are trying to expand so that we will be able to cover the whole of the country. This is a continuous process but presently we have done more than 200”

He also explained that observation stations have been expanded while the agency co-signed MoU with more than 20 universities adding that presently, they have increased stations by about 113 across higher institutions in the country.

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Matazu said he was implementing a remodelling project for the headquarter with phase one being completed in the next few weeks and the phase two will give a different picture of a new NiMet.

“We have done a lot of upgrading of physical infrastructure of synoptic stations across most of the states such as Kebbi, Gombe and so many others of our facilities across the country. With regard to training, we have embarked on large scale specialised training for our staff. Since I came in, more than 700 people were trained in one year in order to improve productivity and effective services”

Matazu noted that one of the key achievements of the country was election of Nigeria into the executive council of World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) which he attributed to the technical assistance and leadership role that Nigeria has been providing on the African continent.

“We are also supporting more than five countries in West Africa such as Sierra Leone and Liberia and we are responsible for their daily weather forecasting services. From Abuja, we get it processed and relayed to the meteorological services of these countries for syndication to their national television and other media platforms.

“We have also been assisting Malawi, Mozambique and Gambia and all the English speaking West African countries as they are get their personnel trained in our regional training centre in Lagos.”

On renovation of crew briefing rooms, Matazu disclosed that the agency started with the overhauling of the pilots briefing room for Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and that of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

He said NiMet has gotten approval for maintaining and overhauling of six low level windshield system for the six major airports with the equipment on ground and it was being installed across the airports.

Matazu said it was to boost the existing ones, especially the ones having challenges.

“We provide conducive office space environment for the staff across more than 70 locations in the country, including all the state capitals and other locations of marine weather stations, upper air weather stations and some of our critical forecasting stations at the airports,” he said.

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