On Tuesday, 15 February 2022, I had the honor to represent the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi at the Public Presentation of the 2022 Seasonal Climate Predictions held at the serene Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Centre, Kado, Abuja in the Federal Capital Territory. It was my first and I owe all the gratitude to my boss for directing me to attend. The theme was; Strengthening Climate Actions Through Timely and Impact-Based Climate Prediction for Economic Recovery. It had in attendance top functionaries from government to private sector as well as the Academia.
I left the venue enriched through speeches as well as publications shared by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET). What I saw was an Agency that has transformed its service delivery away from the foolish jokes of some people some years back. During my University days, the joke was that whenever the daily weather predictions on Nigerian Television Authority informs you that it won’t rain, you had better take along your umbrella, raincoat and rain boot as well as sweater to protect yourself. I was therefore excited that my first official contact with the Agency exposed me and other guests to the revolutionary impact of the current leadership at the Agency.
Let me today share with you some of these materials as they affect safe driving especially during the raining season.
Permit me to refer you to the the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction where the Agency captured predictions for the current year. According to the Agency’s predictions, the 2022 rainfall season is likely to be normal in terms of rainfall amount and length. Storms it warned are expected to be strong during the season because of the predicted higher-than normal temperatures in most parts of the country.
These predictions according to the Agency have implications for road users as strong storms can pull down trees, communication masts, electric power cables and poles, and other structures. These could obstruct roads and disrupt traffic. Chances of road washouts, slippery roads, delayed travel time, cars skidding off the road are likely during the season. Reduced visibility during the harmattan and stormy weather should be anticipated. The predicted warmer temperatures will also mean hotter roads and increased chances of tyre burst.
It further notes that rainfall dates are predicted to start from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Cross River and Akwa Ibom in late February and around July in the northern states such as Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara. However, Ekiti, Ondo, Edo and Kaduna States are anticipated to experience earlier than normal onset when compared to the long term averages. Furthermore, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano Jigawa, parts of Kebbi, Niger, Kwara, Oyo Ogun, Cross River, Bayelsa and Rivers States are likely to experience delayed onset of rainfall.
For the doubting Thomas, the Agency warns that the predicted rainfall amount over the country is expected to be near the long term average rainfall ranging from 400mm to 800mm in the northern states such as Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, and parts of Borno. The central States such as FCT,Nasarrawa,Taraba, Kogi, Benue as well as Ekiti,Osun and Oyo in the Southwest are likely to have 1200mm to 1600mmParts of Bayelsa,Akwa Ibom,Delta and Cross River States are predicted to have annual rainfall amounts of 3000mm and above.