The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) says it will establish Regional Centres of Excellence in Meteorological Research in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The University of Ilorin will host that of the North Central.
A statement by the Director of Corporate Affairs of the university, Kunle Akogun, disclosed that NIMET’s Director General, Prof. Abubakar Mashi, said this while inaugurating the Surface Meteorological Station (equipment for weather data collection).
The equipment was donated by the agency to the Department of Geography and Environmental Management, University of Ilorin.
Mashi said Nigeria has only 54 weather observatory stations out of the expected 9,300, adding that this has prompted the Agency to partner with universities through the National University Commission (NUC).
He explained that weather was a critical element that affects everybody while urging every university to have a standard weather station.
The director general promised that the agency would continue to support the University of Ilorin in funding the station and providing the complimentary infrastructure for the laboratories.
Earlier in his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, stated that the equipment was a great blessing that would enhance the teaching and research endeavours.
He said it would also benefit not only the Department of Geography and Environmental Management but also many other related Departments and Units in the University.
Abdulkareem said that 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 commended 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 with NiMET began in 2010 when the university’s Department of Physics signed an MoU with the agency.