The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said that the new Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) Act, which was recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, would serve as a tonic for further growth of the organisation both professionally and economically.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Public Affairs, Dr James Odaudu, said that Sirika made the statement, recently in Geneva, Switzerland, at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and India.

The MoU with India: According to Sirika, the MoU was on the conduct of Meteorological science, technical research and development between the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) and the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The statement hinted that the Director-General of Nimet, Prof. Mansur Matazu, signed on behalf of the country, while Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) signed on behalf of the Indian Government.

Sirika explained that both parties are also expected to ensure that such cooperation consists of their respective laws, rules, regulations and other international agreements to which both parties are signatories.

To ensure a seamless implementation of the memorandum, he emphasized the two countries resolved to set up a technical committee of six members (three members representing each of the parties) to implement the MoU, while the position of Chairman of the Committee would alternate between the parties on annual basis.

The technical committee would have the responsibility of advising on legal, training and financial procedures for the implementation of the MoU and monitoring the progress of the collaboration and preparing annual reports.

  • Commenting on the MoU, Matazu said its main objective was to provide a bilateral relationship between NiMet and its Indian counterpart, towards meteorological development in the two countries.
  • He explained that the parties had agreed to work together to provide WMO-standardised services in Numerical Weather Prediction Capability, Meteorological Sensor Designing and Satellite Meteorology.
  • Other proposed areas of collaboration included scientific research on meteorology and its applications in various sectors, ‘Nowcasting’ and early warning capabilities and capacity-building activities.
  • He added that the MoU also provides that all inventions, improvements, original works and discoveries, which are conceived or made during collaborative projects would remain the property of both parties who would jointly have the right to seek intellectual property protection.

The backstory: President Muhammadu Buhari had in August 2022 signed the new Nimet Act 2022 into law, thereby repealing the old Act of 2008.

According to Sirika, the MoU signing was also a great testimonial to the global leadership of NiMet within the world meteorological community, which has been attained during the current tenure of Matazu as the Director-General of Nimet.