Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, with the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO, to host its regional office for West, Central and North Africa.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama signed on behalf of Nigeria while the Secretary General of the WMO, Mr. Petteri Taalas, signed on behalf of the organisation.
Mr Onyeama commended the organisation for giving Nigeria the hosting right.
He said that Nigeria was committed to the implementation of the MoU.
“We want to commend the WMO for the initiative. Government will continue to support the Nigerian Metrological Agency, NIMET, to give bite to the agreement that was signed.
“The Nigerian government will continue to support you, as we have the hosting capacity, showing that the MOU is symbiotic and a mutual beneficial relationship between Nigeria and WMO,” the minister explained.
The Permanent Secretary in the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose represented Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama.
Mr. Taalas said that with the MOU, Nigeria would be serving the interest of 27 countries in boosting their early warning capacity and addressing the challenge of climate change in those regions.
He noted that climate change had increased the disasters of most African countries and had affected their agriculture and economy.
Mr. Taalas said that ”the MoU would help to improve the WMO services in controlling the effect of climate change and weather and also promoting Accor cooperation between various countries.”
According to him, the agreement is a great one and WMO is very grateful for Nigerian government’s commitment.
He said that the agreement would help Africa countries to mitigate against effect of climate change, stressing that African countries were vulnerable to climate change which had been affecting their economy.
Mr. Taalas commended Nigeria for supporting neighbouring countries, adding that the office would further help Nigeria in supporting other African countries in the cluster.
The Director General of Nigerian Metrological Agency, NIMET, Professor Sani Abubakar said that the WMO hosting right had given Nigeria a leading role in Africa.
“By giving us the hosting right it means that we are invariably given the leader of all the climate agencies in the West, Central and North Africa.
“By the time you isolate the West, Central and North Africa it means that we are controlling over 60 per cent of Africa…To us, it is a very great honour and by signing this agreement, Nigeria has committed itself to meeting up with all its international obligations on climate change,” he said
According to Professor Abubakar, if we are hosting WMO as far as the organisation is concerned, it is Nigeria that will be providing the lead on any issue in Africa.
“Because we are hosting the regional office it means that if there is any benefit from WMO to Africa within this particular region, it means that Nigeria will be the first to benefit from it,” he said.
The WMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency for meteorology, weather and climate, operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
It has more than 191 Member States and Territories.