As a result of alleged embezzlement by international oil companies (IOCs), due to the lack of meteorological equipment for adequate weather forecasting and poor maritime infrastructure, the federal government began to take measures to end trend, THISDAY results revealed.
Some maritime experts believe that bad practices and neglect undermine government security services in the maritime sector and affect government revenue generation.
THISDAY’s checks revealed that Nigeria’s inability to have an accurate weather forecast resulted in damage to ships due to frequent waves (heavy waves), a situation that forces CIOs to forecast overseas.
Relevant sources have TODAY said that the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) is working with the Meteorological Agency of Nigeria (NIMET) to provide accurate weather forecasts for safe navigation.
The source, who did not want her name printed, said the partnership began in 2017.
In addition, a source close to the office of the director general of the NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala Usman, said that a memorandum of understanding had been signed by the two agencies in this regard.
The source told THISDAY that the collaboration between NPA and NIMET would see the establishment of some coastal weather stations across the country.
It was also found that the two agencies have come together to improve Nigeria’s weather forecast for users of weather information.
Recently, due to inaccurate weather data, some vessels like the âMT Nwobisaâ were stranded in the Niger Delta region.
However, National Airspace Research Development Agency (NASRDA) spokesperson Dr Felix Ale said the agency has the capacity to provide accurate weather forecasts for use by any agency in Nigeria.
Ale, said weather reports are sent to relevant government agencies as frequently as possible, adding that there is no need for government officials to travel abroad for this purpose.
He explained that most of the time, government officials have hired foreign companies to obtain weather information for Nigeria and these foreign companies get this information from NASRDA and sell it to these government officials.
According to him, âOfficials from government agencies are going overseas to hire foreign companies to obtain weather reports for Nigeria. These foreign companies in turn come to NASRDA to get this information and sell it to these officials. Some of these officials do this because of the foreign exchange they get when they travel overseas. They should stop this idea of âârunning overseas to get information on satellite data when that data is available in Nigeria. ”
THISDAY also learned that NARSDA has entered into a Joint Venture (JV) with Atlantic Factorial to provide a high resolution image of activities on the waters.
Confirming the JV, the Managing Director of Atlantic Factorial, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said that massive leaks had been observed in the maritime sector caused by inadequate surveillance of the maritime domain, He added that the NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), are not paid the income owed to them as a result of these trade offenses.
He said most CIOs source weather data from overseas and deduct the cost of finding that information from their operating costs before reporting profits to the federal government.
âWe currently boast the largest constellation of satellites (240+), owned by our partners and over 100 ground stations around the world. Our capability covers sub-meter resolution imagery from any location on the planet (72cm unsurpassed by any other company in the world), maritime, aerial, meteorological and radio frequency analysis.
âIn recent years, the need to monitor our highways, bushes, remote communities, villages and towns has become a priority. We can provide the government with detailed daily surveillance reports through radio frequency communications and high resolution images with short videos of suspicious locations throughout Nigeria for security actions.
âLikewise, we observed massive leaks in the maritime sector causing insufficient surveillance of the maritime domain; Motherships that import petroleum products into Nigeria with official foreign currency, whether they import through neighboring countries or when they come to Nigeria, NPA / NIMASA do not receive the revenues owed to them as these vessels do not. fail to reach ports because of their size, âhe said.