The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has expressed its readiness to provide timely, accurate and reliable weather information, to end users in various sectors of Nigerian economy.
Prof. Sani Mashi, Director General NiMet made the pledge at a stakeholders’ workshop, on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the workshop was: ‘’How to Support Users’ Understanding and Use of Weather Forecast Services in Nigeria’’.
It was also reported that the Director General was represented by Mr Reuben Jigah, Director of Finance and Account, NiMet.
The workshop was organised by NiMet in collaboration with University of Leeds’ Global Challenges Research Fund African Science for Weather Information and Forecasting (GDRF-African-SWIFT) Programme.
Other partners in the collaboration are: the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), and Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet).
According to the Director General of NiMET, timely weather and climate information would guide policy and decision making, as well as providing advisories to stakeholders, across all sectors for national development.
Mashi stated that NiMet’s weather and climate information helped to reduce losses, arising from extreme weather condition, especially in agricultural sector.
He added that such information would also help the users to take advantage of favourable weather conditions, to achieve more efficient and effective implementation of programmes and projects.
According to him, empirical evidence shows that the proper application of agro-meteorological information to farming, is capable of increasing crop-yield, by up to 35 percent.
“Available rainfall data from the NiMet Synoptic stations clearly indicate that there have been great fluctuations in rainfall received in the different parts of the country, since the beginning of this century.
“The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, under the direction of the Ministry of (Aviation), is committed to providing timely, accurate and reliable weather and climate information, in order to guide policy and decision making.
“it also provides weather and climate advisories to our stakeholders, across all sectors of national endeavors that contribute to the development of our dear nation.
“We do this in fulfillment of the mandates of the agency, as contained in its Establishment Act of 2003,’’ he said.
NiMet boss said that Nigeria lost approximately 350,999 hectares of land, to drought and desertification annually, threatening the livelihood of millions of people, especially famers.
He added that increasing frequencies of coastal flood and storm surge, had taken over the coastline at the rate of 30 to 40m of land annually.
According to him, such losses to extreme weather phenomena could be minimised by using early warning information, such as NiMet’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction.
He also urged the participants to take full advantage of the workshop, to enhance the dissemination of weather and climate information to the end users.
Mr Bernard Gomez, WMO’s Representative for North, Central and West Africa, said that there was need to improve on the speed and timeliness of the dissemination of weather information to the end users.
Gomez said that the core function of meteorological and hydrological services; was saving lives and properties, saying that a good percentage of people never got the warning.
According to him, a good forecast is not good, if it is not timely delivered and it is the duty of the national meteorological and hydrological services to reach out to them.
“I therefore wish to urge all stakeholders here present, to work closely in implementing this project as its success will enhance the implementation of the national weather and climate service in Nigeria.
“I also urge the media to help NiMet to transmit the information in a language that would be easy to understand, to the public, to enable them understand the warnings and take proactive measures,’’ he said.
Dr Lorraine Youds, Programme Manager, GCRF African SWIFT, said that the focus of the workshop was to think about how to communicate the information produced by NiMet, to the end users.
Youds, who commended NiMet, for its level of expertise, said the organisation had been working with three tropical African countries, such as Senegal and Kenya.