Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Monday hinted of its preparedness to commercialise its meteorological and hydrological services following higher demands by Nigerians and other countries.
NiMet said that the goal to commercialise some of its services would be achieved through collaborations and Public Private Partnerships (PPP), adding that some of the services and products will boost its revenue and contribute to the country’s GDP.
The Director General, NiMet, Prof. Mansur Matazu, made the disclosure at the first French-Nigeria Meteorological Seminar and business meeting in Abuja.
Matazu, in his address, noted that inadequate resources from the government to support the agency’s operations and the high demand for meteorological and hydrological services by Nigerians and other countries led to this move.
According to him, “The world economies are struggling due to various challenges around the globe, including natural and man-made disasters, and the fact that most countries are yet to stabilise due to the devastating COVID-19 experience.”
The cost of conducting meteorological business, Matazu opined, was also increasing amidst staff attrition due to inadequate remuneration and many others.
“Hence, government funding of meteorological activities such as instrumentation, new technologies, equipment, welfare, communication and data exchange are grossly inadequate.
“It is therefore imperative that Public Private Partnership must be embraced and explored,” he said.
Speaking about some of its services and the need to generate revenue that would boost the country’s GDP, Matazu said: “As a service provider, NiMet in line with its established mandate promotes and implements activities in support of national socio-economic development across all sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“The agency also develops various products and services that are reliable, accurate, timely and actionable which highlight vital weather and climate information that may affect socio-economic activities in air, land, and water transportation, agriculture, water resources, disaster management and mitigation, health, tourism, sports, power and energy.
“For successful sustenance of these products and services amidst the economic situations and the need to adequately ensure the purpose of the United Nations Early Warning for All initiative is achieved, it is critical for the adoption of available credible Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and engagements that will provide innovative and cost-effective technological solutions that will proffer ease of doing business for maximum impacts.
“The climate change issue is very challenging, so we need to open up more partnerships and there is a concept in the WMO called weather enterprise which aims to see how government and private sectors can work together in weather monitoring and in providing services for improved and sustainable livelihood in Africa.
“So, commercialization is the way to go because if you check our services that are categorized into public service, government-support service, and the tailored service; there is a need to expand more on the tailored services to be able to generate more revenue for the agency and for government and also deliver more effective services to our clients in the country and beyond.”
Also speaking, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mrs. Emmanuelle Blatmann, who described the seminar as a win-win situation, added that it would avail both countries of opportunities to share ideas on the latest technologies.
Blatmann said: “The seminar on meteorology and hydrology is part of the partnership agreement between Nigerian authorities and the French government. The French government responded to the request made by Nigerian authorities because there is a need for a public-private partnership.”