By Uche Nworah
The Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Prof Obiora Okonkwo has assured the new Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Charles Anosike, that airline operators will support him to achieve the mandate of the agency.
Professor Okonkwo was speaking during a courtesy visit to the DG/CEO at NIMET’s Head Office in Abuja, on Wednesday, 20th December, 2023.
Speaking, Professor Okonkwo said; “I am delighted that Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed someone of Professor Anosike’s caliber, a cerebral and highly focused person as DG/CEO of NIMET. It reinforces the importance the government attaches to this very important agency that is critical not only to the aviation, oil and gas, and agricultural sectors, but also to other critical sectors of the economy”.
“Professor Anosike is a seasoned leader and administrator, with proven track record of management of men and materials. I have no doubt that he will bring the necessary leadership to the organisation”.
Continuing, Professor Okonkwo said; “As operators in the aviation industry, we have always yearned for closer partnership and collaboration with NIMET. The service NIMET provides is strategic. We don’t have to wait for when there is impending flood to access NIMET’s services. For the aviation sector, the airlines require weather information one week or even one month ahead so that we can plan our flight schedules accordingly”.
“This week alone, there has been several disruption of flight operations. It is becoming increasingly difficult for operators to explain the disruptions to passengers. Operators don’t like delays as well. We know that NIMET cannot change the weather but the agency should inform the public ahead about weather conditions”.
“We suggest that NIMET starts daily weather updates to passengers so as to prepare their minds ahead of weather disruptions especially during this harmattan season. Government tends to be on the side of the passengers when they complain of disruptions. Airline operators also suffer from such disruptions. We request that NIMET liaises with all the sister agencies in the aviation sector to demand that all airport operators should provide the right equipment to aid aircraft landing such as instrument landing system (ILS). These machines are lying unused in some of the airports. Any airport that does not fix its equipment should be sanctioned by the federal government”.
Responding, the DG and CEO of NIMET, Professor Charles Anosike thanked Professor Okonkwo for the visit. He said; “Thank you Professor Okonkwo for the visit and your words of encouragement. I have heard all that you said. I want to assure you that NIMET is ready to collaborate, partner and support the airline operators. We will improve the way NIMET works. We will also take your advice on board”.
The Director of Administration, United Nigeria Airlines, Mr Linus Akwute was also present during the visit.