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Nigeria: NIMET boss faults call for creation of climate change agency
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By Benson Akomo
July 19, 2017 02:12:40am GMT      |      Views: 585

WorldStage Newsonline-- Ahead of a public hearing by the House of Representatives on a proposed bill seeking an Act to create the Climate Change Agency of Nigeria, the Director General /Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi has faulted the calls, saying the establishment of such body would amount to a duplication of functions already being carried out by an existing agency.

NiMet was established by an Act of Parliament in 2003 to provide weather services in marine, environmental and bio-meteorology for climatic and human health activities and  Mashi believed that setting up another body will be counterproductive at a time government was trying to scale down bureaucracy and save funds as a fall out of economic recession .

He told journalists in Lagos that, "Since its inception in 2003 NiMet has played, and continues to play crucial, critical and strategic roles in fulfillment of its mandate including the issue of Climate Change hence the major authoritative voice on climate issues in Nigeria as recognized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a technical and specialized Agency of the United Nations (UN).

"Furthermore, NiMet is the repository of the National archive of climate data in Nigeria. The climate data bank has data spanning over a century from over 60 synoptic stations spread across the nation. There are no meaningful climate studies or policy developments that can be conducted without credible climate data. This climate data can only be found in NiMet. NiMet also has the largest concentration of climatologists in the country and these resources are always used to produce the scientific basis for climate change in Nigeria."

 Mashi said instead of creating a parallel agency, NiMet should be reorganized and strengthened to enhance the discharge of its responsibilities through the amendment of the enabling Act.

He said that areas that require amendment include, but not limited to the elevation of Climate Services to a Directorate of Climate Services status to "better handle issues relating to climate and climate change.

"It is rather surprising that at a time when the country is experiencing an economic recession and is literally fighting the battle of its limited resources people are proposing the creation of a parallel agency that will merely duplicate the functions of an existing body.

 “Even at the best of times when resources do not pose any significant bottleneck, such obvious duplication is counterproductive and may lead to conflict of interest and unnecessary rivalry.

 "NiMet should be strengthened to build on existing gains, infrastructural development, reputation and soaring stakeholders' confidence as it has the capacity, capability and a pool of highly trained and experienced professionals to discharge its responsibilities" rather than unnecessarily expand the bureaucracy by the creation of the proposed Climate Change Agency (CCA)."

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