FG reiterates support for West Africa regional climate activities

By Diana Omueza

The Federal Government has reiterated continued support for efforts geared towards regional climate prediction and early warnings, to safeguard lives and properties in the West Africa and Sahel Region

Mr Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said this on Friday in Abuja during the closing ceremony of the 2024 Regional Climate Outlook Forum on Agro-hydro climatic characteristics for the Sahelian and Sudanian zones of West Africa.

Keyamo said that the government had identified regional climate prediction as a major tool for governments and policymakers in the region.  

According to him, it is paramount for governments in the region to be aware of the numerous challenges of the 21st Century, in order to mitigate dangers and avert 

“To combat these challenges, it has become imperative that weather and climate information are not only accurate but also produced and disseminated early.

“Thus the need for Early Warnings. It is based on this that the Nigerian Government deemed it fit to provide all the necessary support.

“Through the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) and AGRHYMET Regional Centre to host this year’s forum here in Abuja, “ he said. 

The Aviation Minister said that like most countries in the region, Nigeria was also affected by the devastating effects of extreme weather and climate events, however the damages were reduced due to the early warning information provided by NiMet and NIHSA.

This he said underscores the importance of the works of the partnering agencies in the industry and called for sustained partnership.

He said that the government had prioritised the issuance of early warnings for its citizenry to de-risk sectorial activities and avert losses and it would continue to support regional efforts.

He urged the stakeholders from across the region to ensure the downscale of vital information to local and rural communities in the region for successful and effective implementation of the predictions.

Dr Bernard Gomez, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organisation who was represented by Mr Roland Abah, commended AGRHYMET, NIMET and other partners for successfully hosting the workshop in Nigeria.

He disclosed that AGRHYMET was currently undertaking the processes of accreditation by WMO to become the Regional Climate Centre for West Africa and the Sahel.

He expressed optimism that the outcome of the workshop would provide additional Early Warning information for the countries in West Africa and the Sahel to support localized forecast and effective planning to mitigate climate-related hazards envisaged in 2024.

Other stakeholders at the forum pledged continued support for regional collaborations and sustained efforts.

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