Minister unveils SCP, as NiMET DG pushes vision for economic growth

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has expressed its excitement to push the Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) vision and help in the recovery of the economy after the trying phase where the global pandemic affected some of the gains made previously through agriculture.

The Director-General of NiMet and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria with World Meteorological Organisation (WTO), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu who spoke at the public presentation of the 2022 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) said the SCP is one of its flagship products, an invaluable tool that has helped lots of farmers improve their yields.

He further stated that it had also helped increase and improve the level of preparedness by Emergency Management Agencies, complement the flood prediction by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), and served as an advisory tool for many stakeholders at the Federal, State, and Local Government levels.

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika

According to him, “We are all living witnesses to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and how many economies have struggled. In Nigeria, one of the pathways for economic recovery in agriculture.

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“However, many of the agricultural practices are climate dependent and largely rain-fed. It is important to recognise the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria on developing the Agricultural Sector for Sustainable Green Economy, focusing on food system development agenda that will lift hundred (100) million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade”.

“NiMet is excited to push this vision and help in the recovery of the economy after the trying phase where the global pandemic affected some of the gains made previously through agriculture”.

Matazu noted that the government aims to prioritise healthy diets and affordable nutrition through inclusive, efficient, resilient, and sustainable agriculture which will contribute to job creation and sustainable economic growth.

He however noted that the vagaries of weather and climate are not limited to agriculture, stressing that other socio-economic sectors also have weather and climate as a critical component.

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“That is why the SCP, which will be unveiled today by the Minister of Aviation, is very essential for all. The content is multi-sectoral with co-produced socio-economic implications of the prediction by NiMet and relevant stakeholders”.

The challenges of variability in climate viz a viz global warming which has in recent times given rise to high rainfall amounts occurring within a short duration, he reiterated has made flash flood episodes more frequent.

He hinted that several roads were decimated in 2021, among which were the Maiwa bridge, along Bauchi – Kano highway, Ningi local government area of Bauchi state, the single-day rainfall event of 16th July 16th, over Lagos metropolis which flooded a large portion of Lagos Island including the popular Balogun market including increased severity of dry spells episodes in parts of Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe and Nasarawa states.

According to him, with such recurring extreme events, the SCP becomes a veritable tool to notify relevant stakeholders and emergency managers of the anticipated rainfall pattern within the season for necessary mitigation plans.

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NiMet is the Federal Government Agency charged with the responsibility to advise the Federal Government on all aspects of meteorology; project, prepare and interpret government policy in the field of meteorology; and issue weather and climate forecasts for the safe operation of aircraft, ocean-going vessels & oil rigs, and other socioeconomic sectors, including disaster risk reduction.

It observes, collate, collect, process, and disseminate all meteorological data and information within and outside.

Its services cut across Aviation, Telecommunications, Power & Energy, Agriculture, Building and Construction, Oil & Gas, Disaster Risk Reduction & Management, Education, Defence, Marine & Maritime, Health, Finance & Insurance, among others, in support of sustainable socio-economic activities in Nigeria.

Wole Shadare