Posted by Sade Williams
The Director general of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has called for synergy among government agencies, especially, disaster managers in order to minimize risks associated with weather disasters.
Speaking on the occasion of World Meteorological Day 2022 in Abuja on Wednesday, he said the synergy will assist in better national prevention and response strategies.
“To reduce risks associated with weather related disasters, both Nigeria Meteorological (NiMet) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) services and Disaster Managers such as National Emergemcy Management Agency (NEMA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) State Emergency Management Agency (±EMA etc., must worki in synergy. This will assist in better national prevention, preparedness, and response strategies.”, he said.
He noted that in the recent decades, incidences of extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, devastating hurricanes, ferocious wildfires, floods, heat waves, drought, landslides, etc. have been on the increase with attendant socio-economic impacts that have threatened food security, safety of lives and properties, livelihoods, human security, nutrition, and health.
He however noted that though the economic value of the 2012 losses due to flood had proved difficult to forget, losses attributed to weather, and climate related event has been on the decline.
“In 2021, a lot of ‘first’ recorded events took place in terms of rainfall amount but losses have been minimal. This is a direct result of investment in meteorological service to be better positioned to issue timely, accurate and reliable weather prediction.”, he added.
According to Prof.Matazu, in the last one year, which also marked his one year in office as the Director General/CEO of NiMet and Permanent Representative of Nigeria with World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), “we have decided not only to wait for buy-in of stakeholders but also to improve on our infrastructure and creatively disseminate to as many Nigerians as possible. Our products (e.g., High Impact Weather, Heavy Rainfall Forecast etc.), have found their way to the highest decision-making body of Nigeria, the Federal Executive Council.
“During the Public presentation of the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction, we did notjust present the Forecast as was our usual practice, but with concerted effort, we presented the translated versions, SCP summary for Policy Makers, Agrometeorological Bulletin, Climate and Health Bulletin, Marine bulletin, and first of its kind SCP mobile app.”, said.
He further said that in recognition of the importance of the seasonal climate predictions and other Early Warning products and services, the Agency has gone into partnership with government ministries, departments and agencies such as Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and non-governmental organisations such as HEDA, APPEALS, IFAD VCDP and LIFE-ND, State Airports such as Asaba and Anambra Airports, and host of others.
“We have improved our relationships with sister Agencies in the aviation industry for improved service delivery. One of the highlights of 2021 was also the passage of the Repealed NiMet Bill spearheaded by the Honourable Minister of Aviation. This Bill will improve our operations and add regulatory framework for the Agency to perform optimally and position the Agency for effective weather and climate services for sustainable socio-development in the country.”