The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has urged economic stakeholders in the country to comply with Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet’s) 2018 prediction to avert losses.
He also pledged Federal Government’s resolve to make NiMet efficient in delivering its mandate.
Sirika made the call during public presentation of 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) on Tuesday in Abuja with the theme “Seasonal Climate Forecasting for Sustainable Development”.
Sirika said that NiMet’s weather and climate predictions provide useful information toward reducing losses “in view of frequent and intense weather extremes, occasioned by global warming and climate change.”
The minister said the application of early warning information provided by NiMet could help in minimising extreme weather phenomena.
In the agriculture sector, Sirika said empirical evidence had shown that proper application of agro-meteorological information to farming could increase crop yield by 35 per cent or more.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had consistently shown commitment to combating climate change and reducing its impact on ordinary Nigerians.
According to him, Federal Government is also committed to implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as well as the Paris Agreement on climate change.
He added that “availability of accurate and timely meteorological data is critical for combating climate change as well as achieving the SDGs in Nigeria.
“The role of NiMet in these regards is therefore unequivocal and I assure Nigerians that the Federal Ministry of Transportation will continue to support the Agency to discharge this responsibility to the nation.
“We have reliably established that losses to extreme weather phenomena could be minimised by using early warning information such as NiMet’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction,” he said.
The minister recalled that in 2012, 2016 and 2017, NiMet released the prediction about the likelihood of flooding several months earlier, adding that adequate preparations were, however, not made to avert it.
He said NiMet’s prediction for 2018 indicated that rainfall onset and cessation were also expected to be normal.
This, according to him, will lead to normal length of the growing season and normal rainfall in most parts of the country.
He announced that “Federal Government had made significant progress on an integrated inter-modal transport system (air, land and water) that maximises the transportation of goods, raw materials and people.
“This involves the construction of aviation, rail and highway infrastructure that link major cities and centres of economic activities.
“All these activities and programmes are sensitive to weather and climate variability.”