WMO and NiMet
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) joined the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) on the 23rd of December 1960. NiMet has been a member of WMO for over 62 years and has been always represented by its Director General.
Professor Mansur Bako Matazu is Nigeria’s permanent representative for Nigeria at WMO since his assumption of office in March 2021. Nigeria is categorised by WMO under Region I. The Office for Africa is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and it interfaces with the 57 African Member States for Africa.
The WMO Offices for North, Central and West Africa is located in Abuja, Nigeria. The office was established in 1996 in Lagos, Nigeria and relocated to Abuja Nigeria in 2005 following the transfer of the administrative Capital of Nigeria from Lagos to Abuja. WMO Abuja office is to work with Members, regional and development partners in strengthening capacities, for the provision of weather and climate services and water resources information, to stakeholders in climate-sensitive sectors.
NiMet has had a symbiotic relationship with WMO over the years, especially in the area of capacity building, knowledge exchange and transfer, and partnership to mention just a few. In 1957, the Nigerian Regional Training School began as a National Meteorological Training School in Lagos, Nigeria to train Class IV Meteorological Technicians. In 1964, a Regional Meteorological Training Centre (RMTC) was also established in Lagos to train Class III and Class II Meteorological Technicians.
Photo Credit: WMO
By 1975, both centres were merged and designated as the Meteorological Research and Training Institute (MRTI) to train Classes IV, III and II which is now referred to as the Basic Instructional Package for Meteorological Technicians (BIP-MT). In 1994, the Department of Meteorology (now Department for Meteorological and Climate Services) at the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State Nigeria were also designated as the University component of the RMTC in Nigeria.
It was recognised at the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Regional Training Centre for the West African Countries’ sub-region. This RTC is under the auspices of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency and statutorily funded by it and is responsible for the training of Meteorological Personnel from Nigeria, English-Speaking West African countries, and other African Countries.
To cater for the increasing training needs and space for physical expansion, under my administration as the Minster Responsible for Meteorology in Nigeria, a new training school was officially commissioned in Katsina, Nigeria in May 2019 by the Honourable Minister for Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika.
Currently, the process is ongoing for the designation of the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna, Nigeria as a WMO RTC for operational Hydrology. This is to emphasise the presence of capacities in Nigeria to meet the training demands of the continent.
To further ensure the quality of training content and service delivery by the WMO RTC in Nigeria, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency under the direct supervision of the DG/CEO Professor Mansur Bako Matazu, subjected the centre to the WMO review between 2016 and 2018. The result is a re-confirmation of the RTC by WMO in 2019. The RTC already acquired Quality Management System (QMS) International Standard Organisation (ISO) 29990:2010 certification for training services in August 2019, making Nigeria the first and only country in Africa so far with the certification. The RTC Quality Policy is committed to training well-qualified and efficient manpower for National Meteorological Services and Allied Services for the West African Sub-region and Africa in general. Therefore, for the good people of The Gambia, the quality of services that have been received and will be received through this partnership is never in doubt.