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NIMET faults calls for creation of climate change agency


Prof Sani Abubakar Mashi

The Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, has faulted calls for the creation of a separate and parallel Climate Change Agency (CCA), saying the establishment of such body would amount to a duplication of functions already being carried out by NIMET.

Mashi said NIMET was established by an Act of Parliament in 2003 to provide weather services in marine, environmental and bio-meteorology for climatic and human health activities.

He said thus far, all stakeholders are unanimous that NIMET has been carrying out this role effectively and efficiently; and therefore sees no reason for the creation of a new body with similar functions.

It will be recalled that the House of Representatives is currently processing the proposed bill for an Act to create the Climate Change Agency of Nigeria, with a Public Hearing on the bill already scheduled.

The DG told reporters in Lagos that at a time when there is widespread clamour for Limited Government and scaling down of the bureaucracy, creating another body with essentially the same roles as NIMET will not only be counter-productive but also a waste of scarce resources during economic recession.

According to him, “Since its inception in 2003 NIMET has played, and continues to play crucial, critical and strategic roles in fulfillment of its mandate including the issue of Climate Change hence the major authoritative voice on climate issues in Nigeria as recognized by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), a technical and specialised Agency of the United Nations (UN).

“NIMET is the repository of the National archive of climate data in Nigeria. The climate data bank has data spanning over a century from over 60 synoptic stations spread across the nation. There are no meaningful climate studies or policy developments that can be conducted without credible climate data.

“This climate data can only be found in NIMET. NIMET also has the largest concentration of climatologists in the country and these resources are always used to produce the scientific basis for climate change in Nigeria”.

Mashi said instead of creating a parallel agency, NIMET should be reorganised and strengthened to enhance the discharge of its responsibilities through the amendment of the enabling Act.

He opined that areas that require amendment include, but not limited to the elevation of Climate Services to a Directorate of Climate Services status to “better handle issues relating to climate and climate change”.

In this article:
NiMeTSani Abubakar Mashi
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