THE new Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, has revealed that improved staff welfare will be his priority as that is the only way the agency can attain world standard.
Mashi who was accompanied by the out going DG, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, made the remark during the agency’s facility tour at Lagos Airport.
While confirming that he was impressed with the amount of development and infrastructural facilities at the agency, Mashi said he would hit the ground running in three basic areas, especially workers’ welfare, saying that once the workers are happy, the agency will be catapulted to a world class standard.
He said that during his tenure, the agency will be mindful of what eventually goes to staff on monthly basis, especially this time of dwindling economic condition.
“I will do whatever is possible within the limits of the law to get something added or introduced to whatever they take home, and then the entitlement that goes to them, from time to time will encourage them to work.
For instance, shift duty and hazard allowances because like you know, we work on equipment, we work on very difficult times of the day”, Mashi said
The Nimet DG said that there are some levels of allowances that need to be introduced, adding that “these are areas that I would need to bring in. And then there is the issue of training and retraining, I would want to make sure that these things are introduced very well.
Even though there is embargo by the federal government on international training because of the situation of the country, nonetheless that cannot stop us, in exceptional circumstances, we will try and make case to the government so that they will give us a little window because of the essential services we are rendering, if it means bringing in people from outside to come and train them.
I will make sure they are well trained so that they can compete with other meteorologists from anywhere in the world. These are the three areas, which I believe if we improve on, they will go a long way in raising the moral of the staff as far as welfare issues are concerned.”
Challenges and road blocks
While appreciating the cordial relationship with his predecessor, the NiMet boss said the best way an incoming officer can learn is to understudy the person he is taking over from so that he will hear firsthand information from him about the challenges that are there, the road blocks that need to be eliminated, the milestones that are supposed to be achieved and things that need to be done in order to achieve those milestones.
“So honestly am really impressed and I think I would want to advice anybody that will take over an agency like mine in the future that he or she should avail himself of the opportunity which I have availed myself of now of which
, I am very proud of”, Mashi pointed out. On the issue of equipment, Prof Mashi who was elated for taking over a well grounded agency like NiMet, promised that, even though so much effort has been made by his predecessor, to provide equipment, he will make sure that the challenges of upgrades, modifications, maintenance and improvements are tackled.
“I will make sure that all those that need to be maintained are effectively maintained, those that need upgrading are upgraded and those that need new fleets in order to increase the services we are delivering will be given.” I will do my best to get them increased within the limits of the resources available to us”, Mashi pledged.
In his own speech, Dr Anuforom pointed out that the tour was part of the transition process as he would be completing his tenure in a matter of weeks and then proceed on his disengagement leave by March.
Anuforom who formerly introduced the new helmsman urged NiMet workers to offer their total support to Prof Mashi for a successful tenure in the agency.