By Kenneth Ehigiator
The Federal Government plans export of Nigeria Meteorological Agencyâ€™s newly-invented automated data transfer and archival system (e-met) to West African countries.
The invention, which was commissioned by Aviation Minister, Mr. Babatunde Omotoba, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at the weekend, has increased NIMETâ€™s capabilities to transmit realtime weather reports for safe flight operations.
NIMET’s Director-General, Dr. Tony Anuforo, who said this at the commissioning, added that the device, which was developed locally by the agencyâ€™s engineers in collaboration with a Nigerian consultant, was priceless, especially against the backdrop of recent air crashes in the country caused by weather-related factors.
According to him, the technology will be exported to countries in West Africa, which lack the funds to installed similar facilities from the developed world.
â€œThis technology took us just N15 million to develop by our engineers in collaboration with our Nigerian consultant. It has increased our capacity to transmit and distribute realtime weather reports for the benefit of airlines, pilots and their crew.
â€œWe have also commenced the process of exporting this technology to our sister-West African countries, especially considering the cost of importing similar facilities overseas. We also want to contribute to safe flight operations across the region,â€ Anuforo said.
He said NIMET had installed four servers which drive the technology at the nationâ€™s four international airports- Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, adding that the technology had already been deployed at 10 airports in the country.
He said, as a prelude, to begin the export of the technology to West Africa, NIMET was doing everything possible to cover all the 22 airports in the country, as airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Enugu, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kaduna and Ibadan had been covered.
An obviously elated Aviation Minister, Babatunde Omotoba, said while commissioning the facility that the ministry could not wait to see the technology being export abroad.
â€œThe management of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency has demonstrated once again that given the right environment and resources, Nigerians can come out with the best, not only in information technology, but also in every facet of human endeavour, in our quest for technological development.
â€œThis notable achievement by NIMET has come at a time when the federal government is doing all that is humanly possible to reduce the risk associated with air mishap,â€ he said.
He urged airlines to take advantage of this facility by ensuring that their pilots and crew submit themselves for pre-flight weather briefing before embarking on flights.