Home Meteorology NiMet DG: Security of equipment has improved

NiMet DG: Security of equipment has improved

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…..Agency embarks on Alternative technology

…Calls terminal radar Doppler, others

“Despite the small salaries and allowances that we get, we are happy. One thing that adds to our happiness is some of our services are being received and utilized by common man and you see that simple information is changing someone’s life. So naturally we would be happy doing that. But we would do more with the help of the management”, Prof. Matazu

The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet Prof Mansur matazu says, the incidence of vandals carting away weather facilities has reduced at some airports.

In particular, he mentioned the Lagos and Port Harcourt airports where some of their equipment were tampered with by vandals.

In a chat with newsmen in Abuja on some projects embarked on and executed and the challenges the agency is grappling with, Prof. Matazu said, at times before a project is completed, the equipment on ground is vandalized.

“In Port Harcourt, they cut the whole mast from the base. In Lagos, even within the airport perimeter, we recorded vandalisation, but we were able to weather through the storm”.

He said, to ensure the safety of flight at the airports as regards weather information to stakeholders, they engage in community policing and have seen significant improvement, “with regards to security and also FAAN and other paramilitary authorities have been involved and they are helping us a lot”.

On some of the projects executed, Prof Matazu says, these include the Low Level Windshear Alert System (LLWAS) project which started after the Sosoliso crash.

He said, “it is a phenomenon that is very dicey and dynamic, something that happened within seconds and then it goes. Ab initio, we were not as an agency of government and also within the industry, able to track this, but after that incident, it became open to us; we came up with a proposal for this LLWAS and today we have done in 18 airports”.

The NiMet boss disclosed that, they are also working on an expensive alternative technology called Terminal Doppler Radar and also devising what is called north-central approach which helps to study cloud physics over any area in the country. 

“With the cloud physics knowledge, you would know whether cloud could result into microburst and it is from microburst from an entire set of clouds that we could have wind shear. So we are using multiple approaches to the wind shear just as they are doing in the US. They still have LLWAS even though they don’t experience vandalisation, but they combine it with ladder and then terminal Doppler radar and also the North-Central Approach”. 

To acquire the knowledge and skills, Prof. Matazu said, they have engaged a UK partner from the University of Leeds and already have the platform.

“So we have done the initial test-running of the process and we want to go into large scale to complement the LLWAS. So it is one of our critical projects and every time, every period you see us running around, trying to get it”.

On the issue of funding of its projects, he said, they do not owe any contractor, adding that, he moment the job is finished, a financial transparent system is run, a cash plan, the contractor is captured and the cash plan is implemented  and the contractor is paid.

He said, “You are also helping the economy by doing that. Any contractor must have hired labour, skilled and unskilled and if you pay him, the money and the resources will go down and part of the money would revolve round the government to come under Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)”.

“I think one thing that has helped us is just sincerity of purpose. If you just have a clear-cut purpose of getting results and you have the right team, I am sure we can achieve a lot. In aviation, we have almost the least in terms of revenue, but I tell myself and my team, they all know, we are also the happiest”, he added. 

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