19 February 2013

Nigeria: Senate Advises Nimet On Air Disaster

Abuja — Senate Committee on Aviation has advised Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET, to do everything within its powers to reduce any form of disaster that could put the country in mourning mood.

The Senate's advice came against the backdrop of recent prediction by the agency that the aviation sector might witness minor delays in flight due to reduced horizontal visibility in dust haze early this year.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who gave the advice during the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction, SRP, said NIMET had a lot to do to ensure that the lives of air travellers were protected.

Senator Uzodimma told the agency to acquire all the necessary technology as was done in other countries and assured that his committee would help where necessary to reduce air disasters in the country.

He said forecast could spell doom or blessing to a nation and that NIMET had been up and doing in past years and had not failed the country.

He, however, regretted that despite the warning of the possibility of serious flooding in different parts of the country last year, many states were hit by flood disaster that claimed many lives and sacked millions of people from their homes.

Uzodimma, called on Nigerians to take NIMET predictions seriously, adding that if the predictions of the agency were taken seriously, the loss of lives witnessed last year would not have occurred.

NIMET had at the weekend predicted that the heavy rainfall that caused devastation in different parts of the country and claimed many lives last year will occur again this year, even heavier in some parts of the North Western zone of the country.

The agency also said some states such as Yobe, some Northern part of Cross River State and many parts of the South West were expected to witness prolonged rainfall.

Nigeria in 2012 recorded an unprecedented flood that affected 27 states, resulting in loss of over 300 lives and displacement of over two million people from their homes.

The flood also destroyed farmlands, livestock and other means of livelihood of millions of rural dwellers.

The Director General of NIMET, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, while unveiling the 2013 SRP in the country in Abuja, said based on the prevailing conditions at the time of producing the forecast, it was predicted that this year, the rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012.

Anuforom said some parts of the North Western parts of the country which also fall within the catchment area of River Niger, the total rainfall predicted for 2013 might exceed that of 2012.

"We have just released the rainfall prediction for 2013. The summary is that based on the conditions that were prevalent at the time"

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