The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has assured that the current amendment Bills on Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NiMET) would help expand the agency’s revenue base.
The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable 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.
Honourable 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 it renders service to.
He acknowledged the current management for its forward looking initiatives which according to him has placed the agency on a global map as a leading meteorological organization in Africa providing support services to several African countries.
While the Director-General of the agency, Professor Sani Masha told the visiting legislators 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 professionals, adding that the agency’s pool of manpower’s are world class professionals in Meteorological services.
Prof. Sani asked that National Assembly support NiMET, expand its internally generated revenue, (IGR) beyond aviation sector. As he revealed that the marine sector, water and agriculture use NiMET services extensively without paying a dime for services rendered.
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.