The Minister of State for Environment , Ibrahim Jibril ,has charged the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA to lead the search for solutions to the debilitating flooding and other effects of climatic change ravaging parts of the country. The minister gave the charge during his working visit to the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) domiciled in the University on Monday . He said with the equipment and quality of manpower at the Centre FUTA has what it takes to help the country solve its myriads of environmental challenges. Briefing the Minister and his entourage which included the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr. Shehu Ahmed, the Executive Director, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Dr. Adepoju Adeshola, on the operations of the Centre, the Director, Professor Kehinde Ogunjobi said part of the mandate of the Centre, which is being supported by the German Government, is to train competent weather and climate scientists capable of providing viable solutions to weather and climate related problems in agriculture, water resources and allied sectors for enhanced and sustainable agricultural production, food security and sustainable environment in West Africa. He further said WASCAL develops climate hazard and vulnerability maps for climate change adaptation and water resources management system for the sub-region and was ready to collaborate with the Ministry in tackling the country’s environmental challenges. Ogunjobi said to achieve its mandate and help proffer solution to increasing weather and climate change challenges, the Centre has succeeded in training students from across the West Africa sub region.
“Over the years, we have trained students from across West Africa sub-region on climate related issues. We have graduates quite a number of Doctorate and Master Students who are spread all over the world ensuring that climate and weather related issues are properly managed.”
The Director took the Minister and his team and FUTA Management led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape round facilities at the Centre which include Standard World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Meteorological Observatory and a High Performance (computing facility (Cluster) used for high speed simulation of Weather/NWP and Climate models, among others.
The Minister expressed delight with the Centre’s operation, stating his Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with the Centre to tackle weather and climate related matter. He said his Ministry is open to receive suggestions from the Centre on how to improve on the climate to benefit humankind.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape appreciated the Minister’s positive comment about FUTA. He said the Institution is always in collaboration with reputable establishments locally and other international Institutions. Fuwape said “Through consultancy and training programmes, we have contributed to tackling environmental issues and challenges and we will not fail Nigeria in this regard .”.