Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, has decried the continuous acquisition of meteorological marine weather services from foreign providers and private sector firms, which he said is a prevailing practice in the country.
He said shipping companies that come into Nigerian waters take marine weather service from private and foreign providers, rather than acquire them from NiMet.
Matazu, who was represented by the agency’s Director of Weather Forecasting Services, Mailadi Yusuf, stated this at the opening ceremony of a two-day needs assessment workshop for stakeholders in the marine, maritime and oil & gas sector held in Lagos.
“These services are basically metrological marine services. Presently foreign and private companies provide most of the services, but we have the capacity and capability to give the same information that these agencies give to our stakeholders.
“Companies are not aware that NiMet can provide those services, through this workshop we will enlighten them that these services are available in-house, they don’t have to go to foreign providers and private sector agencies to get these services at an exorbitant price. The Federal Government has established NiMet to deliver those services,” he said.
Matazu said NiMet has stepped up efforts to increase the uptake of its meteorological products and services to drastically reduce the acquisition of such services from foreign providers, thus improving the country’s security and economy.
He said this will also strengthen the capacity of the Agency to deliver in line with the provisions of the Nigerian Local Content Development and Enforcement Act.
He said the management of NiMet understands the growing needs and opportunities within the maritime sector, adding that the Agency has also grown in competencies, human and infrastructural development to meet these needs and explore the opportunities for the growth of the industry and improvement of the socio-economic development of the nation.
“Our focus is on how efficiently we can offer products and services in support of marine and every other coastal activity including safe operations of, ports and harbours, ocean-going vessels, fisheries, oil & gas exploration, energy, search & rescue, safety on our waters, tourism activities and more,” he said.
He said the Agency is upgrading and expanding its network of automatic marine observing stations, including installations of tide gages and buoy systems, as well as the establishment of a dedicated Central Marine Forecast Office (CMFO).
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