We’ll begin commercializing weather forecast services – DG

Flight delays and cancellation due to inclement weather remains one of the many challenges facing the aviation industry and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) has consistently provided weather advisory for the sector to aid its operations. However, this service has for a long contributed to over 90 percent of the agency’s revenue. But according to the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NiMET, Prof. Bako Mansur Matazu, who was appointed in March this year, the agency is working hard to diversify its streams of income rather than depending on what it is getting from the aviation sector. To achieve this, the agency is working on commercialising more of its services and Matazu projects that before the end of next year, it would have increased the ratio of revenue from other sectors from 10 to 30 percent and above. He speaks on this and other matters: Excerpts Commercialisation Our main mandate is to provide weather climate services and advisory to government and Nigerians and this we do in three layers – one is the public weather service which includes the daily and weekly weather forecast. The second is the climate support service for the Ministry of Agriculture, Health, Works, Maritime and others rely on the data that we provide to be able to plan their activities. We also give support to MDAs at no cost. The last one is the delivery of products and services based on requests from organisations and individuals which involve a lot of work and that is the area that we are commercialising, especially in the maritime industry just like the aviation industry. Ships coming into Nigeria usually buy important information from other sources around the globe and Nigeria is losing revenue, so we are working on something that would be signed in the next few weeks with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). We have already started providing skeletal services to the industry through NIMASA and with the full implantation of the Memorandum of Understanding, there is a charge attached to such services just like we have in aviation. The other aspect we are looking at is agriculture where we can provide services for farmers to be able to get forecast at a micro- mini -cost, maybe from the data that he utilises. So, we are collaborating with the telecom providers where we will provide detailed forecasts that farmers can receive on the phones. The oil and gas industry also does onshore and offshore operations and they require tailor made weather forecast and this is an area that we are working on. When I came to NiMET, the revenue ratio we were getting was 90 percent from aviation and 10 percent from other sectors and we are working on a formula were it would be 50-50 instead of 90-10, so that we can sustain our operations. It is very dangerous for an organisation to rely only on one source of revenue, so we are aligning with the Federal Government’s diversification policy to improve our services.

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