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NIMET on NIMASA, NPA on Marine forecast for navigation

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Abiola Seun

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), said it has partnered with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), to provide accurate weather forecast that will enhance safe navigation.

Recall that inaccuracy in weather forecasts has led to damages to vessels resulting from violent waves in the high seas.

But, speaking with journalists, the Director General, NIMET, Prof Mansur Matazu, said the agency is getting the right support from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, and already in partnership with NIMASA and NPA for accurate marine forecast.

Prof. Matazu said, “NIMET is ever ready and we are improving our services in the maritime industry.

“So we call on the sister agencies especially in the maritime industry to please collaborate with us in order to provide effective marine forecast services that NIMET has domesticated.
“We are also improving all our Installations and facilities. This has given us all the improved capacity and capability of our services,” he said.

The DG who disclosed that the agency has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with about eleven universities including University of Agriculture, Umudike, Ahmadu Bello University (Abu) Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, University of Ibadan among others said its strategising  to implement the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), approved climate early warning system by looking at the forecasting in the whole value chain daily.

The  MoU entails provision of weather stations, research collaborations and other areas of mutual benefits to both organisations.

He further stated that NIMET is implementing effective user communication, whereby they follow and channel their forecast to the various users and also get response from the users.

According to Matazu, this gives the agency confidence, that the forecast are performing wonderfully well, adding that, at times the user also give them advice on what they want at this rate, at this time and at this format and at this frequency.

The DG who insisted that the citizens who are vulnerable to increasing extreme events to climate change activities require effective climate early warning systems, said the approach is really helping the agency in terms of carrying the users along in decision making processes.

Matazu said, “actually, we launched the NetApp popularly called Mobilemet. And we are collaborating with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other development partners especially those that are working with rural farmers and in giving communities alert schedule on impending extreme events.

“So the response we are getting through this platform is one of the most important forecast disseminating platform and we started it as a pilot scheme and we are getting the support of the Federal government to expand it from this year so that we reach as many farmers as possible.
” In addition to physical workshops and seminars were conducted to the physical public weather forecast.”

“We want to leverage on the use of technology especially handset to reach out to as many as possible.

“But we are getting testimonials from this farmers that the information contain in our forecast especially the cropping calendar, the alert system whereby it gives them the information that one day, two days and three days that we are going to expect heavy downpour and as such don’t this and that on your plot of land.
“This is really helping them because it reduces risks of extreme events and it also enhance on the other hand, their productivity and which is very good for the food security scenario of the country”.

Matazu also called on state governors to work with NIMET, as they stand a better chance of informing the citizens of the country and also to help reduce the effect of the extreme event by utilising and integrating the agency’s forecast into their annual planing activities.

Explaining further on the needs for states to work with the agency, he said, “So far so good, but not so many states are keying in to this but Lagos state has been doing wonderfully well and also Katsina State and a host of other state that we are collaborating under the IFAD /FGN partnership.

“But there is a big room for improvements and I call on all state governments to please as a matter of urgency, that after the dissemination of the public presentation by our minister in January, that they should please liaise with the agency so that we tailor the forecast at state levels that covers the local governments and wards and all the economic sectors,” he advised

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