From Uche Usim, Abuja
The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu has advised Nigerian farmers not to bank on the false rainfall that has been occurring in some parts of Nigeria lately, as many are mistaking it to be the early onset of the 2021 rainy season.
He warned that these rainfalls currently experienced in some states such as Benue, Abuja, Kaduna, Kebbi and Katsina states do not indicate a full onset of the rainy season and must not be used to plan for planting.
Mansur made the disclosure at a press briefing held at the NIMET office at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to mark this year’s World Meteorological Day themed ‘The Ocean, Our Climate and Weather’.
The NIMET DG, however, said that farmers can commence clearing of their lands and procurement of inputs for cultivation. He added that the earlier predicted forecast for the rest of the year remains valid.
The press briefing followed a ceremony where a quiz competition involving several secondary schools in Abuja with questions derived from climate related topics was held. The first top three schools were presented with awards while all the schools present were given awards for active participation.
Speaking at the occasion, the DG reiterated the significance of the ocean to human existence. He stated that the science of weather and climate is never complete without adequate knowledge and reference to the ocean.
“The ocean plays a critical role in weather occurrence on different timescales including the changing climate and it’s variability. The ocean covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface, performing a major role as a driver of world’s weather and climate and the global economy, carrying more than 90% of the world and sustaining the 40% of humanity that lives within 100 km of the coast”, he said.
Mansur, who recently assumed office, further revealed that his administration would focus on a seven cardinal agenda. They are: Improving safety of flight operations, enhancing seasonal rainfall predictions in order to have specific predictions for every sector, improving forecast for the marine industry, provision of more weather stations, domestication of quality management systems, effective collaboration and partnerships, and staff welfare to improve productivity.
Also speaking, Mr Abba Roland, representing President of the World Meteorological Agency (WMO) and North Central and West Africa, Mr Gerhard Andrian,
said that Nigeria is one of the very active members of WMO.
“The WMO is building capacities all over Africa. We are happy to be here and we will continue to partner and collaborate with Nigeria to develop It’s metrological capacity”, he said.