The Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Dr Anthony Anuforom, said the agency would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Meteorological Office to provide complementary marine meteorological services.
Anuforom, who was speaking when the Senate Committee on Aviation visited the agency as part of its oversight functions on Monday in Abuja, said the MoU would be signed in July.
He said that the essence of the MoU was to enhance the agency’s commercial capabilities in the country.
Anuforom said that the agency had made significant progress in infrastructure development in the last three years.
According to him, in 2012, the agency had no Doppler Weather Radar, but that now it has installed two in Abuja and Port Harcourt.
He said that installation work was ongoing in Yola and Maiduguri.
He also said that the agency had, in 2012, only one low level wind shear alert system at the Abuja Airport, but now had nine in different airports across the country.
“The agency had only six locations in the country with thunderstorm detector systems as of 2012; now the agency has in 20 different locations.
“Only five airports had Integrated Aviation Weather Observation and Displays System (AWODS).
“Now we have them in 14 airports like in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, Sokoto and others,” Anuforom said.
Anuforom also said that NiMet, in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), underwent a quality management system audit process in 2011 and was finally certified in 2013.
He said that the certification had so far boosted the confidence of airlines operators and other users of the agency’s meteorological data products.
The NIMET DG said that agency was the first meteorological agency in West Africa to meet the requirements and receive the ISO certification.
He said that the agency had wanted to achieve 50 to 50 ratio aeronautical and non aeronautical investment in 2016, adding that as at 2011, it had attained 95 to 5 ratio.
Anuforom pleaded with the committee to ensure the review of the NiMet Act.
He said that the Act was last reviewed 11 years ago, adding that there is need for review so as to empower the agency.
The Chairman of the committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, commended the agency for its good work, especially in the area of its commercialisation initiative.
Uzodinma said that the agency needed to be encouraged, but urged it to put in all possible efforts to achieve more.