The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has asserted that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) achieved its world leadership status under the Buhari administration through the synergy between political passion and professional expertise.
A statement from the special assistant to the minister on public affairs, James Odaudu said Sirika asserted while addressing the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Executive Council Session in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sirika stated that his passion for meteorological services developed during his tenure in Nigeria’s National Assembly, which resulted in the synergy between the political leadership and the professional headship that NiMet currently enjoys. He attributed NiMet’s success to the support it has received from the secretary-general of the world body, without whom his passion and the commitment of the NiMet management wouldn’t have achieved much.
“New products like the seasonal climate prediction (including its summary for policymakers and translated versions), the state of the climate in Nigeria, climate and health bulletin, hydrometeorological bulletin, agrometeorological bulletin, extreme weather events bulletin, marine meteorological bulletin, 3-day impact-based forecast and many more on different timescales and validity have been introduced by the agency.
“These products,” Sirika stated, “and many other tailored services have generated lots of interest within the nation and culminated in the president’s commissioning of the National Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology in Katsina, in his honour.”
The minister emphasised that no programme or project could succeed without a strong understanding between the political class and the bureaucratic establishment. This understanding created the enabling environment for the achievements recorded by Nigerian meteorology. He stated that inter-agency synergy along the climate services value chain has increased, bringing together the meteorological, hydrological, disaster management, and all responders together as they develop and practice the multi-hazard early warning system for all Nigerians.
Sirika informed the participants that NiMet has intervened in Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Malawi by providing capacity-building, technical assistance, quality management systems and a competency framework by successfully hosting, providing leadership and participating in regional climate outlook fora.
Nigeria was recently part of and led the Country Hydromet Diagnostics (CHD) in Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as hosted a study visit by both national meteorological services of the Republic of Niger and The Gambia, while also providing hosting support for the WMO HydroSOS initiative and working earnestly to take the initiative to the implementation phase.
The minister called on the World Meteorological Organisation to intensify efforts to encourage cooperation among member-states and assist in bridging the existing gap between the political class and experts in the field. Also, he encouraged NiMet to pursue PPE (because government funding would never be enough) and urged the WMO secretary-general to continue supporting meteorology globally, in Africa and in Nigeria.