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Sirika Presents NiMet’s 2021 Climate Predictions, as Minister advises Against Hurried Planting



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”.

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Nigeria Air: Civil Society Group Tackles NASS



Says Committee Chairman’s declaration amounts to ‘giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it’

A civil society group, The Concerned Civil Society Advocacy Group has taken up the outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji on his recent declaration that the national carrier project was a fraud.

According to the group, the declaration, coming in the wake of the recent exhibition of one of aircrafts of Nigeria Air in Abuja, amounted to “giving the dog a bad name so that it can be hanged”

In a statement to the media in Abuja on Wednesday,and signed by the Group’s National Coordinator, Bako Barkindo and National Secretary, Julius Adaji, it described the sustained plot to ensure the failure of the national carrier project as a disservice to the Nigerian people who stand to benefit from its establishment.

Former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika

The Statement read:

“The media has been awash with reports that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has declared the national carrier project a fraud after a hastily organised ‘public hearing’ whose outcome was obviously predetermined.
As usual, many gullible Nigerians have been deceived through deliberate misinformation by opponents of the Nigerian Air project who have been masquerading their real intentions as national interest.
Everyone knows what the benefits of a national carrier are, and they include; competitive ticket prices, direct flights to international destinations, national pride etc. We therefore wonder why the concerted efforts by some people to ensure that the project fails.

“As a group that believes that Nigeria deserves a very robust national carrier that is private sector-driven (bearing in mind the issues that led to the death of defunct Nigeria Airways), we have followed the process through which the project had passed, from the appointment of transaction advisers up to the announcement of Ethiopian Airlines as the Strategic partners and other private sector investors before the court injunction obtained by some domestic airline operators. It is therefore surprising that the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation had to come up with such a declaration shortly before the Committee’s tenure ends.

“We are therefore constrained to raise the following questions:
1.Has the Committee chaired by Nnolim Nnaji not been part of the whole process of establishing the airline, or they have been watching from the sidelines, unconcerned with such a flagship project in the sector?
2.Why wait till the wee hours of their departure from the national assembly to hold a make-believe public hearing where the Chairman acted as a sole administrator and did not allow those in charge to make contributions but went ahead to declare the national carrier project a fraud, a position that at variance with that of Senate?
3.Is the Committee not aware of the fact that government equity in the airline is only 5% and the remaining 95% belongs to the strategic partners (Ethiopian Airlines) and other private investors; and that even if government withdraws from the venture, the owners of the 95% will carry on?
4.On the use of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, why didn’t the Committee highlight the 49% ownership of Nigeria Air part of which includes the provision of aeroplanes for take-off?
5.Can the Committee invalidate an Executive Council-approved project that was midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and approved by the President?
6.Why are some members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) so vehemently opposed to the national carrier project, if not for the sole purpose of continuous exploitation of air travellers? Should Nigerians be subjected to whims and caprices of these airline operators who have made air transportation in the country unaffordable to the average Nigerian?
7.Why would the Association also claim that they were not carried along in the process when every stage was advertised in most national dailies and some international publications as well as the electronic and social media? Moreover, all the information regarding the airline has been available on websites of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Ministry of Aviation. Wherein lies the the much-vaunted secrecy?

“As concerned citizens we believe that the establishment of the cational carrier will be of immense benefit to Nigerians with the provision of competitive rates for both domestic and international routes.
It is our belief also that there’s more to this seeming gangup to truncate the project than meets the eye, especially with the close relationship with the major actors in the plot to deprive Nigerians of the inherent benefits.

“We conclude that all the negatives being spread about the Nigeria Air project is only to ‘give a dog a bad name so they can hang it’.

The group appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure the take-off of the airline which,according to them was at that stage before the change of government.

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Jibrin Condemns Destruction of Political Activist’s Hotel in Kogi



Accord Party Candidate in forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd) has condemned the attack and wanton destruction of a hotel belonging to a political activist Hon. Kabir Bala aka Okwo’ located at Ejule in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Reports have it that the hotel, said to be one of the best in the area, was attacked and completely razed down Wednesday night by people yet to be identified.

Admiral Jibrin in a statement to the media in Abuja, said the attack on the hotel was not only condemnable, but dastardly and unwarranted.

According to the retired Chief of Naval Staff, people should imbibe the spirit of politics without bitterness and eschew the recourse to needless violence in aspiring for positions of power.

He called on the state security apparatus to ensure an urgent and independent investigation and communicate their findings to the public to douse the tension that is building up in Kogi East.

Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd)
Accord Party Governorship Candidate, Kogi State

The Governorship hopeful, while also calling on the State Governor, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to quickly take steps to ensure that the electioneering period leading to governorship election is devoid of all forms of criminality.

Admiral Jibrin, popularly called ‘Akpabana’ promised to bring his experience, extensive knowledge of security and universal contacts to bear on ensuring that the people of the state are safe and secure when he takes over the mantra of leadership of the state.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Sen. George Akume

A statement by the State House Director of Information, Biodun Olajundoye said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu confirmed the appointment on Friday during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),

Oladunjoye further stated that the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).


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