The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has conducted a virtual training for 40 agricultural extension workers in Plateau, on rainfall prediction step down and its implications to farmers in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training was conducted in collaboration with the Human Environmental Developmental Agenda (HEDA) and the Country Women Association of Nigeria (COWAN) on Wednesday in Jos.
A Director of NIMET, Prof. Mansur Matazau, in his welcome speech, said the essence of the training was to sensitise the extension workers on various predicted weather and rainfall patterns during the farming season to enhance their farming techniques.
Matazau said the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) provided farmers with essential weather advisories and early warnings as the prediction helped to reduce the risk associated with weather and climate that farmers might encounter.
Matazau revealed that the predicted annual rainfall expected for the state was between 960mm to 1,200mm, with Jos North predicted to have the highest amount of rain on the Plateau.
He urged farmers to deliberate on what steps to take with the information provided.
Mr Harauna Zakari, one of the Resource Persons from NIMET, advised farmers to plant when the normal rainfall had been established.
NAN reports that participants were also trained on Crop Weather Calendar for the state, as this would enable them to know when best to sow certain crops.
The Commissioner for Agriculture in Plateau, Dr Hosea Finangwai, who was represented by Mrs Helen Gumkat, urged participants to pay keen attention to the training so that they could apply what they learnt and retrain other farmers in their various Local Governments Areas.
Some participants who spoke with NAN, commended organisers of the training, saying it was apt but wished the training happened much earlier before the commencement of the rainy season.
A Participant, Mr Yohanna Kaze, said that the training was very key, and a step in the right direction as farming was no longer done for leisure but now as a business.
He, however, appealed that the training should be sustained but should occur before the commencement of the rainy season as it would help farmers plan well.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
COVID-19: Virologist urges scientific proof for discoveries
He said that the current spate of controversies and conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus were either manufactured or circulated by people who were not core medical scientists.
He decried the way some medical scientists neglected the proper culture of scientific communication and adopted other means of forcing their claims on the public.
“Scientist should endeavour to present clear scientific data to appropriate approving authorities to verify their claims and to pass an objective verdict.
“Appropriate scientific communication is done through scientific publications, which may either be full length research papers, case reports or even short communication.
“Evidences or claims should be presented in a documented manner through scientifically approved journals or editorials, and the scientific community must read and perform systematic reviews or meta-analysis of the data generated,” he said.
The scientist noted that unfortunately there was an upsurge in verbal, emotional, confrontational and near political crusades by some medical scientists who had either resorted to the use of social media platforms or some conventional media.
This act, he said, fell short of their expectations as scientists and weakened the scientific engagement on peer review platforms.
“I urge scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic as it would eliminate unnecessary controversies.
“Efforts should also be geared toward generating information and inventions that the world so long for to tackle the pandemic.”
The virologist noted that controversies were part of the evolution of new knowledge or paradigm shift in science.
He, however, added that new knowledge must be communicated rightly with modesty, clear and verifiable evidence to back up claims.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
COVID-19: Nigeria reports 304 fresh infections; death toll hits 888
Nigeria reported 304 new confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as the death toll jumps to 888.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) made this known on its official twitter handle on Sunday.
The centre noted that five deaths were recorded in the country.
It added that till date, the country recorded 43,841 confirmed cases, 20,308 discharged and 888 deaths in 36 states and the FCT.
It showed that the 304 new cases were reported from 15 states, namely Lagos (81), FCT (39), Abia (31), Kaduna (24), Rivers (23), Plateau (16), Cross River (13), Ebonyi (12), Ondo (12) Ekiti (11), Edo (11), Benue (10), Nasarawa (10), Ogun (6) and Gombe (5).
The health agency noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), activated at Level 3, would continue to coordinate the COVID-19 national response activities across the country.
The NCDC said that Nigerians risk of the virus would be higher if they were less than six feet from people at a crowded public place or if they freely share equipment and not practice social distancing and other habits to stay healthy.
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
NiMet predicts cloudy, thundery weather activities Monday to Wednesday
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted cloudy and thundery weather activities from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet`s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms over some parts of northern states.
The states are Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Sokoto, Taraba, Kebbi and Katsina.
According to the agency, the rest of the region will be under cloudy conditions during the time.
“Later in the day, cloudy skies with pockets of thunderstorms are anticipated over the region with the exception of Sokoto where cloudy condition is expected.
“Over the central region, cloudy skies with isolated rain showers are anticipated over Jos, Nasarawa, Makurdi, Niger and Abuja during the morning hours.
“As the day progresses, much cloudiness is expected to prevail over the region with prospects of thunderstorms over Benue, Abuja, Niger and Plateau States.’’
The agency predicted that southern coast and the inland would be cloudy with the exception of Ikom, Obudu, Calabar in Cross River and Eket in Akwa Ibom, where light rain showers were anticipated during the morning hours.
It further predicted that some southeast inland and coastal cities such as Enugu, Umuahia, Obudu, Uyo, Calabar, Eket, Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa are expected to experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers later in the day.
The agency, however, envisaged cloudy skies over the inland and coastal areas of the Southwest.
According to NiMet, morning thunderstorms are likely over Katsina, Borno, Taraba and Katsina on Tuesday, while the rest of the northern region is expected to be cloudy during the morning hours.
“Places like Southern Borno, Bauchi, and Gombe will experience cloudy skies with isolated thunderstorms in the evening while the rest of the region are expected to be cloudy.
“Cloudy skies with thunderstorms are expected over Niger axis, while other parts of the central cities will experience much cloudiness during the morning hours.
“Scattered thunderstorms are anticipated over Kaduna and Niger States in the afternoon with more prospects in the evening.
“Cloudy conditions are expected over inland and coast of the south during the morning and evening period.’’
NiMet forecast cloudy skies over the northern region with chances of thunderstorms over Borno, Gombe, and Adamawa during the morning hours of Wednesday.
It also predicted pockets of thunderstorms over Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Zamfara and Kebbi States.
“Cloudy skies are expected to prevail across the central region during the morning hours, while thunderstorms are expected over the high grounds of the central states during the afternoon and evening period.
“Cloudiness is expected to prevail over the inland and the coastal belt throughout the forecast period.’’
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Philanthropist inaugurates foundation for indigent in Enugu
A US-based philanthropist, Mr Afamefuna Atu, on Sunday, launched an empowerment foundation to cater for the needs of the indigent in Enugu State.
Atu, who is the President, Kings Care Empowerment Foundation, said that he was motivated into launching the foundation due to his unpleasant personal experiences, while growing up.
The president, while speaking during the formal inauguration of the foundation’s Nigerian office, said that the foundation was aimed at addressing the health, education and material needs of the people.
He said that three events in the history of his family shaped his passion for humanity, leading to the intervention.
“Three events in my family history shaped my passion for humanity. First is the death of my grandmother, who died during childbirth because of malnutrition and lack of food.
“The baby boy she was delivered of also died. She left my aged mother and her four-year old sisters behind.
“Shortly after my grandmother’s death, an eye disease, which we know as ‘apollo’ broke out in our community and my grandfather was one of those who were affected,” he said.
Atu said that he had terrible experiences, which made him to make a vow that no other parent would experience such suffering.
“I have come to realise that when we leave this world, we will not be remembered by the volume of our wealth but by our good deeds.
“Standing on those ideals, I established the Kings Care Empowerment Foundation whose primary aim is focused on our people to avoid another parent losing their eyesight as a result of poverty.
“I will not also like to see another woman dying at her birth stool like my grandmother,” he said.
Atu said that the foundation would focus on rural communities in order to create a future the people could touch and feel; a future where everyone is valued and voice heard, and where life would count.
“As we formally open our headquarters in Nigeria, we look forward to engaging communities on challenges of health and community development, youth outreach and women empowerment,” Atu said.
Earlier, the Director of the foundation, Mr Ikechukwu Nwobodo, said that the organisation, founded in 2017, had engaged in charitable works and growth of indigent families through medical outreach and others.
In a goodwill message, the state Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr Manfred Nzekwe, said that the state government would partner with the foundation in any way possible to address the challenges of the people.
Nzekwe commended the founder of the foundation for the initiative.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the highlight of the event was testimonies from the beneficiaries of the foundation’s empowerment schemes.
Edited By: Josephine Obute and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq