NiMET: Stakeholders score Matazu’s one year reign high

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By Uche Henry

Stakeholders in Nigeria’s aviation sector have lauded the director-general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, for the various policy reforms and massive infrastructural investment that have transformed the agency to a world-class meteorological agency in the last one year under his leadership.

Matazu was named the head of the agency on March 15, 2021, by the Federal Government. He came on board the establishment with a wealth of experience in meteorology, having spent years as an academic in that field and in NiMET, where he rose to the position of general manager, meteorological research.

Aviation analyst, Clement Anka, said, since he came on board, Matazu has initiated significant reforms in the agency, repositioning it to become a more efficient and effective leader in all areas of meteorology in Nigeria and beyond.

“In fact, under his watch, NiMET has played a pivotal role in the development of meteorology in West African countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia and even in Malawi. The foray into other countries was, no doubt, been made possible courtesy of improved infrastructure, especially equipments for weather observation and forecasting, which has led to accurate and dependable weather prediction by the agency,” Anka said.

“We saw the signs that the agency was set for a facelift when, in his first few months in the saddle, Matazu upgraded the pilot briefing rooms in Lagos and Abuja. This placed NiMET in a better position to conveniently organise stakeholders’ interaction with airline operators. And to his credit, also, arrangements have been concluded to deploy  runway visual range, an additional aid vision machine along the runway that would allow aircraft land and takeoff even at weather minimal level, which is about 300 metres,” he added.

General secretary, Association Nigeria Aviation Professionals, Abdulrasaq Saidu, commended the NiMET boss for creating harmonious relationship between workers  and the management, saying the agency never had it so good.

Climate, seasonal prediction

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NiMET, under Matazu, presented this year’s Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) at the Nigerian Air Force Centre in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on February 15, 2022.

The SCP contains information on the onset and cessation dates of rains, rainfall amount, temperature forecasts for the hot season (January to April) and dry spell and little dry season to assist farmers plan for the year.

It also contains information that has to do with malaria and meningitis vigilance, and socioeconomic implications of the prediction.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who unveiled the 2022 SCP, commended the NiMet leadership for the diligence in bringing to Nigerians weather and climatological forecasts touching on different areas of their socio-economic lives, in accordance with its mandate.

In the same vein, former DG of NiMet, Dr. Anthony Anufurom, lauded the agency for maintaining its vibrancy, especially under Matazu, and for generating accurate data on seasonal climate prediction for use in Nigeria.



Great successes have been recorded in the last one year in the agency. Some of the projects already completed under Matazu’s reign are the refurbishment and upgrade of the pilot briefing room at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja; renovation of NiMet’s administrative office building/security office in Birnin Kebbi and synoptic/office in Yelwa, Kebbi State; emergency procurement and installation of closed-circuit television cameras at NiMet headquarters, Abuja; contract for construction of climate change modality centre at the Metrological Institute of Technology, Katsina; contract for the construction of NiMet zonal office in Gwagwalada, Abuja, which is 70 per cent completed; and contract for construction of NiMet office in Ibadan, which is 20 per cent completed.

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Under Matazu, the Operational Study and Conduct of Status Audit and Gap Analysis on Aeronautical Met Operations was achieved in 10 airports in the country.

During the period under review, NiMet was able to create a task team to assess their observational infrastructure nationwide, carry out maintenance and/or servicing of observation equipment and improve communication with partner institution on the status of instruments.

Speaking on some of the achievements in the last one year, Matazu said the initiative  helped to increase the efficiency of NiMET’s  operations.


As soon as Matazu resumed work, the agency reviewed all memorandums of understanding (MoUs), and establishied new partnerships.

So far, NiMet has signed an MoU with Earhworks for the deployment of thunder and lightning detectors in 10 locations across Nigeria.

The agency is equally in partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and has started providing services to the maritime industry.

It also signed an MoU with the Asaba Airport Company (AAC), the new concessionaire of Asaba Airport, and with the  Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the provision of automatic weather stations in 10 states.

It also built relationships with other agencies like Nigerian Hydrological Agency, Nigerian Emergency Management Agency and National Space Research and Development Agency.


Although the Federal Government has been trying its best to ensure the proper funding of the agency, its major challenge still remains paucity of funds to undertake other projects.

Apart from the rapidly changing climatic conditions through global warming, another challenge the agency faces is increasing its human capital to meet its growth and expansion programmes.

“At the peak of the COVID-19 challenge, we were able to downscale our seasonal climate prediction to more than 20 states via virtual workshops for stakeholders. So, in a nutshell, we are not short-staffed. But our service is expanding and the expansion will  require in the nearest future the need of having additional staff, then from the Nigerian citizens,”Matazu said.