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The Federal Government through the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has lent its support to Gambia and other nations desirous of meteorological services as the agency has helped to train meteorologists from the West African nation.
This is part of the strategy by Nigeria to further strengthen the expansion of weather and climate services to vulnerable sectors and the user community.
This is coming as NiMet therefore realizes that partnerships and engagement with the private sector cannot be over-emphasised”.
Speaking at the inaugural graduation ceremony of middle level meteorological technicians trained by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) held in Banjul, The Gambia, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika stated that aviation is a serious business with critical safety requirements and socio-economic impacts; hence, personnel working on the sector must be highly skilled and competent.
The Minister said that one of the instruments of the partnership was through the World Meteorological Organization Regional Training Centres and affiliated training institutes which W.M.O. encouraged member countries to close the gap through increased cooperation and collective partnership such as the ongoing one between Nigeria and Gambia.
Sirika disclosed that the Nimet had done this due to huge support from Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Aviation via robust budgetary provisions, adding that most of the operational funding for the agency were derived from allocation from the contributory service basket provided to the aviation industry by the agencies under the ministry.
The Minister lauded the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) for championing and supporting countries to effectively engage in Public Private Partnerships (PPP).
According to Sirika,“This is because the future of service provision and user interface should effectively move from a linear type of value chain to an interactive environment where systems, data, solutions, and end users are iteratively engaged, and users are contributing significantly to information management and weather & climate service-level products. These will contribute to capabilities towards meeting global targets of the sustainable development goals”.
“This vision is realisable where regular meetings with vulnerable sectors to promote interaction and strengthen the provision and utilisation of meteorological services exist. As a strategy to further strengthen the expansion of weather and climate services to vulnerable sectors and the user community, NiMet therefore realizes that partnerships and engagement with the private sector cannot be overemphasized”.
The Nigerian Government, the Minister said, has the appropriate legal framework that enables the NiMet to participate in collaborative and effective Public-Private-Engagements (PPEs).
“In the phase of dwindling revenue by Governments worsened by the COVID19 pandemic, the importance of PPE cannot be over-emphasised. Once, trust has been established with appropriate legal document such as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is clear on the role of individual parties and sharing formula of all expected benefits, PPE is the way to go. This is another area; Nigeria can be of help”.
He equally commended the Government of The Gambia, the Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources of the tiny West African country for taking the initiative to conceive the concept that led to the graduation ceremony.
“The presence of dignitaries here today is a testament to the critical value of the training programme and its impacts on the people and the developmental process in The Gambia. This goes to highlight the importance attached to contributions of meteorology to sustainable socio-economic development, as well as safety of citizens of this great Country”
On his part, the Minister, Ministry of Fisheries and Water Resources, Gambia, James Furmus Peter Gomez, commended the Federal Government of Nigeria, saying the training partnership would further strengthen the cordial and fruitful bi-lateral ties that exist between the Department of Water Resources and NiMet and by extension the two countries.
“The challenge of improving the resilience of communities to climate vulnerabilities, risks and disasters is a key element in the strategies and solutions envisioned by the Government of The Gambia, as stated in the National Development Plan(NDP) as well as in both the Agriculture & Natural Resources and National Climate Change Policies. While the answer seems to be the existence of dedicated structures with an organizational system, the provision of adapted sectoral services to cope with extreme weather and climate risks is becoming increasingly important”
He added that Gambia authority noted the efforts Nigeria was making towards the capacity development of its personnel in fundamental aspects of meteorological observations and forecasting, as well as quality management system, all geared towards meeting the standard set by WMO and ICAO.
“On behalf of the Government and People of the Republic of The Gambia, I once again extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria for the bi-lateral assistance it has been rendering in many ways to help improve the standard of the Meteorological services in The Gambia. We particularly note the efforts you have been making towards the capacity development of our personnel in fundamental aspects of meteorological observations and forecasting, as well as quality management system, all geared towards meeting the standard set by World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).Google+