The federal government is committed to offering technical assistance to other African countries to advance their weather forecasting capabilities.
The Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, gave the assurance while speaking to a reporter at the opening of a two-day regional forum hosted by Nigeria.
The bodies involved in the forum are the Committee for Intra-ACP Climate Services and Related Applications Programs (CLIMSA) and the Governing Board of the African Center for Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD).
According to Matazu, such assistance to other African countries is crucial to improving their standard of living and collectively qualifying to access the massive Global Climate Change Fund.
“Originally for Africa, access to these vital funds is very low. This is why NiMet is also helping other African countries to build their capacity to come up with products, projects and programs to access the funds,” he said.
He listed the countries that NiMet has helped in their daily early warning program including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Mozambique and Malawi. These countries benefit from NiMet’s weather forecasting activities.
The boss of NiMet explained that climate change is the result of global warming, triggered by industrialization and high emissions of greenhouse gases, and released into the atmosphere. They modify the normal climatic variations and the climatic data in the world.
“Unfortunately for Africa, due to low adaptive capacity and weak mitigation measures, we have been affected and much more vulnerable. This is when advanced countries stepped up and provided incentives to adaptation to climate change.
“For African countries, we are working hard to access these funds through climate adaptation programs and climate change mitigation projects,” he added.
Also speaking, Director of the World Meteorological Organization
(WMO) Regional Office for Africa, Mr. Amos Makarau, said that the purpose of the meeting was to take stock of the system that the European Union (EU) had given to Africa through the ACMAD.
He expressed his optimism that the results of the meeting would add value to all of Africa in terms of weather forecasting.
“We are here for the frank invitation of the Federal Government of Nigeria through Prof. Mansur Matazu, DG NIMET, who is also the President of ACMAD.
“ACMAD is a very important association for Africa in technical issues of capacity building.
“The objective of the meeting is to take stock of our systems that the EU has donated to Africa through ACMAD to enhance capacity development and technical support,” he said. .
ACMAD Director General, Dr André Foamouhous, called for more effective relationships between national health services and disaster management agencies in response to natural disasters in the region.
He said it was the health service’s natural disaster warning that would spring into action at government level.
“Nigeria is at the forefront of efforts to achieve this goal,” he added.