Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has concluded arrangements to establish Regional Centers 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 Director General of NIMET, Prof. Abubakar Sanni Mashi disclosed this in Ilorin while inaugurating the Surface Meteorological Station (equipment for weather data collection) donated by the agency to the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin.
The event also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NIMET and the university.
According to the DG, 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.
He stated that Nigeria has only 54 weather observatory stations out of the expected 9,300. This he said has prompted the agency to partner with universities through the National Universities Commission (NUC). The NIMET boss said every university is supposed to have a standard weather station, adding that there is no department in the university that will not benefit from the newly inaugurated weather station.
He promised that the agency will continue to support UNILORIN not just in funding the station, but also in providing the complementary infrastructure it requires in the laboratories.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of UNILORIN, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem described the donation as a 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.
He said insufficiency of funds has retarded the capacities and activities in laboratory, field and classroom components of the training given to students in the area of meteorology, as well as in the capacities for cutting-edge research.
He therefore thanked the agency saying, “the intervention we have got from your agency and which we are opening to the public today, is therefore an appreciable assistance and motivation.”
The VC recalled that the relationship between both parties
“dated back to 2010 when our Department of Physics signed a MoU with the agency and since then, the relationship has been growing in leaps and bounds and therefore, culminated into the concrete benefits we are commissioning here today.”