The 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) has been unveiled by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, with a call on all stakeholders to use the climate prediction judiciously for the benefit of the nation and humanity.
The Minister said that over the years, NiMet’s predication has become a veritable tool in guiding various sectors of the nation’s economy in preparing for their yearly activities.
According to him, “the earliest onset date for rains in 2021 is likely to occur on the 1st of March along the coastal line of the country, while the late date is anticipated to be around 29th June in the Northern most part of Nigeria. While later than normal onset dates are expected over a few places such as parts of Lagos, Ogun, Kebbi and Niger States”.
Sirika said there would be dry spell, which may span in some places up to about 15 days and this is extremely important to avoid people losing their crops or to ignore flooding which may wipe away houses, businesses and farm lands. This year, severe dry spells are predicted in Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina Jigawa, Zamafara, Yobe and Borno States in June and July which may last between two to three weeks after the onset.
“So, the implication of this is the likelihood of crop failure and even if crops don’t die completely, their growing capacity is going to be affected. Farmers should adopt soil-moisture conservation techniques to reduce the chances of crop failure during the period”.
The Minister said, “The length of the growing season will vary from 110 days in the North to over 300 days in the South. He advised farmers in the North that they should not plant crops that would take more than 100 days to mature while those in the South have opportunity to probably plant their crops twice since they have over 300 days”.
He however, advised farmers not to farm with the first rain which will likely occur on 1st March, 2021.
Most places are expected to have their usual length of season, but few places such as Lagos and FCT are likely going to have shorter length of season.
The prediction also showed that there would be a normal annual rainfall amount in most Northern parts of the country such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Kano States.
On flooding, the Minister said there would be normal to above normal rainfall in the country which could lead to flash floods due to the increasing high density rainfall at the peak of the season.
According to the Minister, “the earliest cessation date is likely to be 9th October while, Kastina and Northern parts of Sokoto, the latest cessation date is expected to be on the 25th of December over the Niger-Delta region”.
On his part, the Director General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi promised Nigerians that his Agency would ensure that the prediction gets to the grassroots and called on stakeholders to always support the mandate of the agency.
According to Mashi, the annual predictions by the agency has become an increasingly indispensable guide for planning by most sectors of the nation’s economy.
The achievements, he reiterated, had been possible through the unalloyed support of the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika who had always pushed NiMet for excellence and professionalism in the discharge of its mandates.
“Over the last 10 years, in the wake of increasing trend of uncertainties in the climate change, NiMet has continued to meet national, regional and global expectations in weather and climate forecast which is the reason behind the annual seasonal climate prediction”, said the Director-General.
The theme for this year is “Seasonal Climate Prediction: supporting the Economy to scope with the challenges of COVID-19 Global Pandemic in Nigeria”.