States disregarded our early warnings, flood forecasts – NiMET


The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has said its forecasts on flooding were ignored by most state governments across the country.


This is as the agency says it is seeking a partnership with the maritime sector to boost safety and performance in the sector.


Prof. Mansur Matazu, the Director-General of NiMET stated this on Monday in Lagos during the commencement of a ‘Needs Assessment Workshop for Stakeholders in the Maritime, Oil and Gas Sector.


Matazu who was represented at the occasion by Mailadi Abba, the Director, Weather Forecasting Services, NiMET, said the agency had issued early warnings on the possibility of floods across most states of the federation before the commencement of the rains but lamented that the warnings were disregarded by most stakeholders.


He insisted that if the warnings were adhered to, the level of the havoc caused would have been reduced while the losses would also be curbed.


Matazu declared that NiMET weather predictions are almost perfect and called on all stakeholders and state governments to always endeavour to adhere to its warnings.


He said its accurate weather predictions in the aviation industry have helped to drastically reduce the rate of air accidents attributed to weather issues.


He maintained that NiMET intends to replicate the same safety heights recorded in the aviation sector in the maritime sector, stressing that this could be achieved through partnerships with stakeholders in the industry.


He said: “We gave the warnings and weather for each state but whether the states adhered to it or not, we are now seeing the result. Most of them did not adhere, unfortunately, it was only when the flood came that many states were now running to Mr. President cap in hand to get money.


“If they had listened to us, some of these things would have been avoided. We asked them to invite us and gather their stakeholders to allow us to train them on the use of the information and engage with them so that we can have a window through which we can interact with them; giving them updates, and reminding them about what the forecasts say.


“But, unfortunately, they didn’t come forth to take the information to their grassroots members. It is only when the flood came that everyone is now calling for relief funds. So, our information is accurate, reliable and timely. So, I don’t think we are going to have any issues with accidents due to weather forecasts. You may have some gaps not necessarily from NiMET but from the user itself.


“In the aviation sector, accidents due to weather are reduced If not totally eliminated. This is the kind of service that we want to deliver to the marine sector. So, our information is accurate, reliable and timely.


Matazu further decried the vandalism of NiMET equipment at airports and stations, especially at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, saying that the agency was collaborating with security agencies to address the situation.


“We install our facilities so that we can get information, but some people vandalise them and we are not the security outfits at the airport. But, after the meeting with the security agencies, I think it is going to reduce,” he assured.


In his presentation at the event, Mr. Wilfred Idowu, the Technical Assistant to the Director-General, NiMET, noted that the agency had built infrastructure, acquired International certifications and improved competency over the years.


He also added that NiMET offers services to telecommunications, health, power & energy, building & construction, aviation, oil & gas, agriculture, water resources, marine & maritime, education, defence, finance and insurance among others.


Apart from this, Idowu explained that NiMET also offers services to the Gambia and Malawi.


He added: “Marine weather observation is a specialised aspect of weather observation for collecting data on the condition of the atmosphere over the sea surface. We have 12 Marine Met Stations along the Coastline.”

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