CLIMATE & WEATHER: Gambia, Niger Republic Meteorological Service Officials visit NiMet … We have developed from basics to specifics- Prof Matazu

Oru Leonard 

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), on Monday, received in audience officials from the National Meteorological Services of Niger Republic and The Gambia.

The Director-General of NiMet, Professor Mansur Bako Matazu who received the officials, Mr Gaptia Lawan Katiellou, and Mr Lamin Mai Touray, both Permanent Representative of Niger and The Gambia to the World Meteorological Organization respectively, noted that the visit of both countries to Nigeria is timely and will be of mutual benefit.

“The two delegations on study exchange to NiMet are exploring different areas of interest. For the Niger Republic, what is critical for them is the seasonal climate prediction that Nigeria has been implementing for the past 15 years. We will do a lot of exchange and sharing of experience from seasonal climate prediction as well as numeric weather prediction.

“Just recently, NiMet commissioned research across the eco-climatic zones of the country. Also, the minister will on Tuesday unveil the seasonal climate prediction and also a book published by NiMet on impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation strategies in Nigeria.

“We have 130 years old data that we are recovering and digitising. After rescuing the data, we will share these experiences with them as well. The 130 -year-old mining capability is also what the visitors would also understudy in the course of their visit”, NiMet DG disclosed.

Photo: Management of NiMet, Niger & Gambia Meteorological Services delegation and the media during the event 

Prof. Matazu emphasized that the Agency will ensure that knowledge and ideas are exchanged within the period of the visit, in order to make Africa a better continent in terms of climate change and weather forecast.

Speaking on the choice of NiMet, Mr. Lawan Katiellou Gaptia, the National Director of Meteorology Services of Niger, said Niger and Nigeria are twin countries, so it’s easier for Niger to come to Nigeria than go anywhere else in the world. “The initiative of idea exchange between both countries has long been conceived over a year ago with the aim of learning and acquiring better knowledge and improving on the existing ones”, he said.

For his part, Mr Lamin Mai Touray, of The Gambia in his speech, noted that one key area of shared knowledge he wants to acquire is on impact-based forecasting, which he said, has a positive impact on Nigeria system, adding that he wants to see how NiMet could assist The Gambia in that area.

He said technology transfer and new weather prediction tools, human and financial capacity are lacking in their set up and would need partnership with NiMet to enhance their services.

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