NIMET improves on weather reporting at airports, others

Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom

Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom

The retiring of old weather observers in the country, may have formed the reason, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has embarked on training and retaining programme quarterly, to provide adequate manpower service in all the stations of the agency in Nigeria.

According to NIMET, the observers are not enough, a lot of the old ones are retiring, and that was why the agency has been recruiting and training more people, as most of the stations are short staff.

However, it noted that the body has been making all efforts to ensure that it does not leave any vacuum in any of its stations. Speaking with the Guardian in Lagos recently, the General Manager, Network Off Stations, Mr. Ogunyemi Olaolu maintained that: “If we do not have observers at the stations who is going to observe the weather, report the conditions, what will they plot and broadcast to the nation, and what will they analyse.

If some of the stations in Nigeria are short of observer, there would be no weather report coming from that area”. He added that weather observation is taken worldwide, which unites all weather agencies all over the world, called World Meteorological Organization, to give standardized codes and observation methods, which are updated on regular basis.

However, he said that the training and retraining of the technical staff, the weather observers, who would observe the weather conditions and send their reports to the appropriate quarters like the airport, where the information would be passed to the controller and then to the pilot.

Ogunyemi, who added that, not only those at the airports, the weather information also serves the whole country, stressing that when this weather reports are updated, “we need to invite all our observers all the stations throughout Nigeria to update them with the new codes and observation.

We do that quarterly so that they would be aware of what is happening currently. So that, they can do their job to meet with world standard”, he stated. His words: “We have 33 officials that attended this refreshing course. Previously we have trained a lot of observers in the country.

When the present Director General of the agency came on board in 2011, we started the training in July 4, 2011. He realized that we have not done much in terms of training, he decided that it is not supposed to be so, that the observers, especially the technical staff need a lot of training”.

Furthermore, he noted that by the end of the training, the agency would have trained 240 weather observers nationwide. Speaking on the challenges the agency faces during the training, he stated: “The only challenge we were having before this time is the problem of electricity supply, but there have been improvement in that aspect, we are enjoining the electricity supply as our weather observers are learning in a conducive atmosphere and of course they are able to assimilate whatever they are being taught and apply them when they go back to their stations”.

Meanwhile, The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom had stated that the agency was having an aging work force, which calls for the need for conducting series of training courses for the younger work force of the agency.

Anuforom disclosed this recently at NIMET Refreshers Course for Medium Level Technicians/Observers, held at its Training Centre in Oshodi, Lagos. “These series of training and retraining of our work-force is imperative because the job we do is a high skilled job, not one that anybody can just jump into.

Some of the participants here came into NiMET with a minimum of O’ level certificate. But it has taken us two years to train you on data collection, observation, forecast, among others in line with international best practices”. “These trainings are important because for those of you who work in the airport, if the data you collect are wrong, everything will go wrong”, he said.

Speaking on the aging work force, Anuforom said: “Many of our work-force in NiMET are unavoidably retiring because of age and the compulsory 35 years length of service.

That is why we are training you the young ones. This year alone, we are losing about 72 staff and majority of them are the meteorological technologists who will retire between now and December.

So, our strategy is to fastrack the process of preparing you for the sensitive tasks ahead”. “We are also given emphasis on training and retraining because the coding system in meteorology is changing very fast.

So, for you to be abreast of the current realities, we have to embark on this retraining system, which I introduced four years ago, when I came on board. “For us as an agency, we have initiated commercial strategies to boost our IGR, but if our works are not commercialisable we won’t be patronized.

So, try as much as possible to be serious in your work, so that the data we get can be trusted by our clients and they will in turn patronize us.” “So far, about 207 Observers have benefited from this retraining and they are Hydrogen Observers and forecasters.

Also, in this Batch today, we have selected 33 of you drawn from different locations in the country, and by the time we finish this Refreshers Course, we would have trained about 240 observers”, he noted.

The DG, however, stated that the participants would at the end of the course be further enlightened about meteorology, and urged the participants to shun acts culpable of bringing the agency to disrepute.



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