The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has signed a host country agreement with the Government of Nigeria for the WMO Sub-Regional Office for North Central and West Africa in Abuja.
WMO is boosting its regional presence in order to improve services to Members, and strengthen relationships with development partners. WMO also has a sub-regional office in Nairobi, Kenya, for Eastern and Southern Africa. The WMO Regional office for Africa will be moved from Geneva to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in early 2019.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said WMO was determined to improve WMO’s capacity-development initiatives in support of sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
He commended the expertise of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and welcomed its efforts to improve weather and climate services and water resources information, to stakeholders in climate-sensitive sectors.
Mr Taalas urged the Nigerian government to increase its support for NiMET “to enhance its capacity to mitigate the Impacts of climate change”.
In remarks at the signing ceremony on 19 September, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika said that a new civil aviation bill before the Legislature would increase the funding of NiMet. He noted that the meteorological service had developed the necessary capability to deliver accurate and timely weather information to its users and had also taken the lead in the delivery of meteorological services in West Africa.
The Director General of NiMet, Sani Mashi, disclosed that the agency requires about 9,000 weather stations to fully cover the entire country.
“We are targeting 1,000 stations within the next four years,” he said, adding that when he took office in 2017 there were just 54 stations.
NiMet provides meteorological services to the aviation industry, and is now increasing its focus on other sectors such as agriculture, oil and gas and the marine sectors.