By Emmanuel Elebeke
The federal government on Tuesday commissioned earthquake monitoring command and control centre at the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA) headquarters, Abuja.
Commissioning the centre, the minister of state, Ministry of Mines and Steal Development, Abubakar Bwari said the establishment of the monitoring Command and Control centre was aimed at curbing a repeat of recent earth tremors that wrecked some parts of the FCT, Abuja.
The minister stated that the centre is expected to accelerate a robust plan by government to establish the necessary geoscientific infrastructure to monitor and mitigate all aspects of both natural and anthropogenic hazards.
The Abuja centre is to serve as control centre of other 4-station triangulation network located at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada and Veritas University, Bwari.
Recall that there was earth tremor in Mpape and Maitama areas of the FCT in September and November respectively. The incidents evoked a lot of anxiety, especially among those living around the areas.
‘‘It is now very clear that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has great interest in the safety of the citizens of this great nation considering the immediate steps taken, following the recent Earth tremors around Abuja which occurred in September and November, 2018.
‘‘The incidents evoked a lot of anxiety, especially among those living around Mpape and Maitama, but it also accelerated the robust plan by government to establish the necessary geoscientific infrastructure to monitor and mitigate all aspects of both natural and anthropogenic hazards.
‘‘Indeed, the Fed. Govt. has since set up an inter-ministerial committee to fashion out a common front in tackling the challenge of earth tremors in Nigeria, which has become uncomfortably more frequent than expected.
‘‘Today’s activity represents the implementation of some aspects of the Committee’s recommendations i.e. the improvement on the network of seismographic stations across the country. Originally, NGSA designed a six station seismic monitors to be deployed across the country.’’
‘‘Following repeated tremors around Abuja, the initial programme of national deployment was adjusted to accommodate seismographic densification of Abuja. A 4-station Abuja network has therefore been put in place to have a closer and more effective over sight of the FCT.
‘‘The 4-station triangulation network located at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, University of Abuja, Gwagwalada and Veritas University, Bwari and the NGSA command and control centre at the NGSA HQ, Abuja are being installed.’’
According to him, the ministry will be conducting an airborne magnetic survey over Abuja to ascertain in greater detail the fracture systems that predisposes FCT to tremors.
The initiative was a collaboration between NGSA and sister institutions such as Ministry of Science and Technology, NEMA, the FCT and University of Ife Seismic team and the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency among others.
Earlier in his address, the director general of the NGSA, Dr. Alex Nwaegbu said the centre would not only enhance the capacity of the centre but help us find out risk areas.
According to him the other four centres will be completed in two weeks’ time and monitoring would commence immediately.
‘‘we thank the president for making it possible for us to have this infrastructure that will enable us generate data on the seismicity of Abuja and its environs.
When earth tremor occurred in September and November, this facility was not established in this magnitude but now, we have the facility to examine the magnitude of earthquake and risk areas in FCT. Nigerians should expect a more robust infrastructure and they can sleep with their two eyes closed.’’