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…Says planting to commence Feb 28

…Launches 2022 SCP document

By Dirisu Yakubu, John Precious & Bernard Ozuanu, ABUJA

The Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has urged Nigerians to expect early rainfall in April and May this year in Central states and within June to July in the Northern states.

This is even as the agency advised farmers to commence planting crops from February 28 in the coastal states further predicting that the dry spell could set in from May to August with different levels of severity.

Minister of Aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika made the disclosure in his address on Tuesday during the public presentation of the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction, SCP, titled “Strengthening Climate Actions through Timely and Impact-based Climate Prediction for Economic Recovery” at Nigerian Air Force, Conference Centre, Abuja.

Sirika noted that the global trend report in 2022 by the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO,  categorized 2021 as one of the seventh warmest years on record, adding that despite all the major distortions in the global climate ecosystem, NiMet was able to predict the 2021 rainfall parameters with excellent performance skill.

In a summary of the 2022 weather forecast, Sirika said, “The earliest onset of the planting season (beginning of planting activities) is expected about 28th February 2022 in the coastal parts of the country while the onset of rainfall is expected to occur between April and May in the central States and eventually within June to July in the Northern states. The onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier while some areas having it delayed.

“Rainfall cessation dates across most parts of the country in 2022 is predicted to be near the long term average conditions. The window between the inset and cessation dates can be regarded as safe periods for the planting of various crops in accordance with their cropping calendar. The growing season is predicted to last between 250-300 days in Southern parts of the country and 100 to 200 days in the North”.

On the volume of rainfall in 2022, he continued, “The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 390mm in the North to over 2790mm in the South. Annual rainfall amount ranging from 390mm to 790mm is anticipated in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina and Sokoto states. The central states such as Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue and the FCT as well as Ekiti, Osun and Oyo are anticipated to record 1190mm to 1590mm of total rainfall”.

 The minister also speaks on the dry season period. “From May to August 2022, dry spells of different degrees of severity ranging from mild to severe, are predicated for different parts of the country, ” he said.

Accompanied by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Mohammed Bello; Minister of Water Resources Sulaiman Adamu; Minister of State for Power Prince Jerry Agba; Minister of State Mines and Steel Development Dr. Uche Ogar; Minister of Trade and Investment Dr. Ahmed Bashir and Peter Ozor who represented the Minister of Science and Technology, Sirika said bad weather has caused many flight cancellation and economic losses in the country in recent times.

 According to him, the Buhari administration has procured some equipment to facilitate the landing of aircraft during bad weather but regretted that some airlines are yet to upgrade their manpower and equipment so as to take advantage of the technology. He added that weather prediction technology which NiMet has put in place has the capacity to halt framers’ losses and lead them to greater yield which in the long run will enable the country to attain food sufficiency.

He called on every sector of the economy to put in place measures to alleviate the suffering of the people and improve the economy.

Earlier in his remarks, Director General/CEO of NiMet and Permanent Representative of Nigeria at the WMO, Professor Mansur Bako Matazu said the core mandate of his organisation is to collate, collect, process and disseminate all meteorological data and information for use in aviation, telecommunications, power and energy, agriculture, building and construction, oil and gas, disaster risk reduction and management, education, defence, marine and Maritime, health, finance and insurance sectors of the economy

In his words, “the Seasonal Climate Prediction is one of NiMet’s flagship products, an invaluable tool that has helped lots of farmers improve their yields. It has also helped increase and improve the level of preparedness by emergency management agencies, complement the flood prediction by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NIHSA and served as an advisory tool for many stakeholders at the federal, state and local government levels”.

 In his goodwill message, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said peoples’ lives now depends on what the weather says. He added that as a result of global warming, one can no longer predict the weather unscientifically.

Present at the event were the Minister of State,  Agriculture, Mustapha Baba Shehuri represented by Engr. Shehu Bello;  Federal Road Safety Cooperation, FRSC, boss Boboye Oyeyemi represented by Assistant Corps Marshal Jonas Agwu; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Commandant General, Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu represented by ACC Aduza Fidel; National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Director-General Shuaibu Ibrahim, represented by  Mr Abubakar Unagu, among others.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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