By Faith Awa Maji, Katsina
President Muhammadu Buhari while on a two-day State visit in Katsina, commissioned Africa’s first climate change National Diploma certificate awarding institute, Muhammadu Buhari Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology, Katisna.
Nigeria Meterological Technology Institute Director General/CEO NiMet and Permanent Representative of Nigeria at the WHO, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, spoke with reporters after the commissioning.
What do you have to say about the commissioning and renaming of the institute?
President Buhari as part of his Katisna State visit, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika invited him to also commissioned this NiMet institute of Science and Technology and Mr. President graciously approved the renaming institute to Muhammadu Buhari NiMet Institute of Science and Technology, the first of its kind in the country.
We run programmes in Climate Change and Meteorology and related electrical and technical courses and we also have full accreditation of NBTE and WMO. This school is part of the capacity initiative under the Nigeria Meteorological Agency under the direct supervision of the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Today is a big day for us having the Nigeria’s President to commission the Institute. Because of his passion goes beyond national development but issue of climate change, impact, vulnerability, adoptation and mitigation. This institute will serve the purpose of his objective and to also improve the capacity of personnel, augment service and other related relevant sectors which provide climate smart solution through advice and information because this serves as an extension centre whereby we train and retrain young personnel from within and outside Nigeria.
Here, we monitor weather in all ramifications, more than 41 parameters across the country and this is one point and whatever you see here is a replica of what we have in more than 100 stations in the country.
We have developed a concept and a curriculum on diploma in Meteorology and National Diploma in Climate Change science. This is first of its kind in West Africa and Nigeria is also assisting other African countries and based on that assistance also it requires improvement in the capacity building. So, this centre will also serve as a capacity building centre for some of the neighbouring countries.
Currently, we have MET from the Gambia and Niger Republic here and they will be in this school and the plan is for them to send more than 50 personnel from their countries who will be trained from this centre and Katsina is very central, we have daily flights coming in and we have also ambiance environment as we have seen that can provide conducive environment.
What class of certificates or degrees do you offer here?
We are in the process of getting full accreditation to run HND because the first set of the two-stream ND programme will be graduating in the next three months, in April precisely and we want the first graduates to also enrol here for their two-year continuation to the HND programme.
In addition to that, we want to expand into Engineering, the knowledge of using local technology to develop climate smart, agriculture climate smart solution across all centres.
In NiMet, we have been running training centres since 1957 and this is just one of it. And also in conceptualising this centre, we have come up with internal and external sourcing of experts on the subject matter. We have our NiMet staff and we also have professors and researchers who are here from higher institutions across the country who come visiting on part-time and some are lecturers.