The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has been receiving commendations from stakeholders as it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, marking two decades of service as an agency.
The commendations, coming from various sectors of the economy and those who benefit from NiMet’s services, acknowledge the agency’s continuous improvement in service delivery, not only within Nigeria but also at the regional level.
One sector where NiMet’s services have made a visible impact is air transportation and airline operations, where the agency provides crucial weather updates for air travellers and operations. Mr. Oladayo Smith, an engineer who frequently travels between Lagos and Abuja to supervise his projects, expressed his confidence in air travel within Nigeria, stating, “My confidence in air travel in Nigeria has increased in recent years due to the enhanced safety measures. NiMet has played a significant role in this improvement.”
Moreover, a British Airways pilot was quoted in a national daily stating that they now rely on NiMet’s weather reports for their flight operations in Nigeria due to their accuracy and reliability. This statement was corroborated by the director-general/CEO, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu who mentioned in an interview that NiMet has achieved a remarkable 95 per cent accuracy in weather prediction, surpassing the 60 per cent threshold recommended by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
Matazu attributed this success to the continuous upgrading of equipment, as well as the training and retraining of staff, fostering a culture of excellence in service delivery, among other factors. NiMet has not only excelled in providing improved services for the aviation sector but has also developed products and services that have contributed to the Federal Government’s efforts in achieving sustainable food security for the nation.
One such product is the seasonal climate prediction (SCP), through which NiMet presents the annual rainfall pattern to the public, enabling farmers and stakeholders to plan their cropping seasons effectively. Alhaji Abdullahi, a farmer from Jigawa state, shared his experience, saying, “NiMet’s Seasonal Climate Prediction has been invaluable to me and other farmers who have embraced it. The 2021 forecast was remarkably accurate, especially at the beginning and end of the season. Some areas, like Gwiwa, Yankwashi, Kiri Kasama and Guri experienced some dry spells, as predicted”.
Another farmer, Rose Chioma from Imo State, expressed her appreciation, stating, “The seasonal climate prediction has been incredibly important to us. Last year’s forecast greatly benefited us and increased our yield. I have been using the SCP for the past two years, and those years without it cannot compare to the last two years since I started using the product”.
Earlier this year, during a press briefing, Matazu revealed that NiMet’s weather advisory had saved the Central Bank of Nigeria a staggering N120 billion because they followed NiMet’s recommendations. As NiMet celebrates its 20th anniversary, stakeholders believe that the agency has performed admirably and urge the Federal Government to provide further support, particularly considering the global discourse on climate change.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency was established through an Act of Parliament on May 16, 2003, receiving presidential assent on June 19, 2003. In 2022, the NiMet Establishment Act of 2003 was repealed and replaced by the NiMet Establishment Act of 2022, which was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on August 31, 2022. This new act grants the agency the sole authority to approve and license the establishment of meteorological stations and handle related matters.