Agro-climate information gets boost as UNILORIN hosts NiMET’s weather station
• Nigeria has 54, instead of 9,300 meteorological stations
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has concluded arrangements to establish a Regional Centre of Excellence in Meteorological Research in the six geopolitical zones of the country with the University of Ilorin hosting that of the North Central.
The centre would provide agro-climate information to farmers, environmentalists, industrialists and other Nigerians for various purposes.
The university expressed the belief that such a centre would help in the efforts to boost agriculture-related activities and food security in the country.
The Director-General of NIMET, Prof. Abubakar Sanni Mashi, disclosed this at the weekend while commissioning the Surface Meteorological Station (equipment for weather data collection) donated by the agency to the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin, according to Mr Kunle Akogun, Director of Public Affairs.
The event also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIMET and the university.
Prof. Abubakar said that the gesture was part of the agency’s contribution to the development of education in the country, adding that though universities are primarily charged with the promotion of humanity, they cannot do so meaningfully without adequate attention to the weather.
According to the director-general, Nigeria has only 54 weather observatory stations out of the expected 9,300, pointing out that this has prompted the agency to partner with universities through the National University Commission (NUC).
Explaining that weather is a critical element that affects everybody, the NIMET boss said that every university is supposed to have a standard weather station. He said that there is no department in the university that would not benefit from the newly commissioned weather station.
He promised that the agency would continue to support the university not just in funding the station, but also in providing the complimentary infrastructure it requires in the laboratories.
Earlier in his address before the commissioning and MoU signing, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, stated that the equipment donated by the is a great blessing that would enhance the teaching and research endeavours of not only the Department of Geography and Environmental Management but also many other related departments and units in the university.