By Yemi Akinsuyi
The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforum, has said Nigerians should expect more natural disasters caused by unfavourable weather conditions.
Anuforum, who disclosed this Wednesday, while briefing journalists on the current flooding in some parts of the country, blamed some governors whose states had witnessed such disasters, for not being proactive in tackling the problem early enough, despite warnings from the forecasters.
Although, the NIMET boss did not disclose the identities of these governors, he insisted that they should have provided alternative for their people even before the flood start, citing the proactive measure taken by Lagos State government to avoid this year’s flood disaster.
Anuforum explained that the forthcoming disaster would occur after the current flooding is abating and will come with strong wind capable of causing more havoc in these areas.
In his words: “I can tell you categorically that after the flood violent wind may occur in some parts of the country. I want to seize this opportunity to call on Nigerians to take precaution. Avoid standing under trees and electric poles. Necessary precautions should be taken now that the time is yet to come.”
He exonerated his Agency for not taking steps in preventing the flood, stating that NIMET’s responsibility was to forecast and inform the masses on weather conditions and what would happen in the nearest future concerning the weather.
“It is noteworthy that NIMET monitors weather and climate conditions on a continuous basis and issues forecasts and early warning information to the public as well as other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) such as NEMA, Agriculture and Water Resources, Environment, and other stakeholders to enable them put in place necessary disaster risk reduction measures. This is keeping with the functions of the Agency as stipulated in the section 7 of NIMET Establishment Act. As you can see from this Section of the Act, NIMET’s services cuts across all sectors of the economy and so the Agency, through its parent Ministry has pivotal role to play in sustainable socio-economic development of the country,” he said.
The NIMET boss stated that the case of flooding had continued to pose significant threat to achieving the national goals in agriculture, road construction, housing, health, conservation of the environment, adding that Scientists have predicted that the frequency and intensity weather events are likely to increase due to climate change.
“We will like to state that despite the efforts of NIMET in recent years to create the necessary awareness, the level of application of the early warning weather and climate information to these economic sectors in Nigeria is still low,” he said.
There is, therefore, need to go for an enduring policy framework for the application of the weather and climate information provided by NIMET in the activities of such sectors. These are sectors that are key to full realisation of Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda,” he said.
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