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Amendment of NiMET Act will boost IGR… Nnaji as agency DG laments non-payment for services by oil, marine, agric sectors

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The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has assured that the current amendment Bills on Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET) will help expand the agency’s revenue base.

The Chairman of the Committee, Nnolim Nnaji gave the assurance during the committee’s oversight visit to the agency’s Head Quarters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He regretted that despite the wide range of services NIMET offers to various sectors of the economy, only the aviation sector pays the agency for its services.

 Nnaji said such a situation would no longer be tolerated if the agency must remain in business adding that a lot of resources in terms of equipment and manpower are daily deployed by NIMET to give weather forecasts to marine, oil and gas ,construction industry, water resources and agriculture without returns.

The chairman however reassured the management of the agency that the current amendment Bill before the National Assembly when passed into law would empower NIMET to collect revenues from all organisations that make use of its services.

He praised the current management for its forward looking initiatives which according to him had placed the agency on a global map as a leading  meteorological organization in Africa providing support services to several African countries.

Earlier in welcoming the committee, the Director General of the agency, Professor Sani Masha told the visiting lawmakers that the agency was rated among the best by the World Meteorological Organization, (WMO) adding that NIMET was the first African Meteorological Agency to scale through the International Standard Organization (ISO) standards this year despite the challenges of COVID-19.

He disclosed that NIMET offers technical supports services to several African countries including trainings for various category of professionals, adding that the agency’s pool of manpowers are world class professionals in Meteorological services.

He sought the supports of the National Assembly to enable NIMET expand its internally generated revenue, (IGR) beyond aviation sector.

The DG further disclosed that the international oil companies, (,IOCs) spend the sum of $230 million annually for Meteorological services from outside the country stressing that NIMET can provide same services the oil companies contract outside the country.

Professor Mashi also informed the committee that the marine sector, water and agriculture use its services extensively without paying a dime for such services being rendered to the sector.