The Minster of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, says the Federal Government is deepening efforts to implement adaptation measures to reduce impact of climate change on vulnerable Nigerians.
Sirika made this known on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, in Abuja during his keynote address at the presentation of 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) and other Publications.
According to him, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) is contributing to the adaptation measures by providing timely meteorological information regularly.
“The Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) is an essential early warning tool for planning against the effect of climate change and variability in all weather -sensitive sectors of the economy.
“The information also helps in taking advantage of favourable climatic conditions to improve performance, especially in agriculture.
“The SCP provides vital meteorological information on temperature, rainfall pattern, onset of the season, end of season, length of season and their impacts on socio-economic activities in the country,“ he said.
Sirika said experience over the years had proved that the application of the early warning information helped in increasing resilience and reducing vulnerability to extreme weather events.
He said that over the years, NiMet had progressively improved on the coverage and quality of data collection and predictions.
According to him, the agency has also incorporated the interpretation of the forecast into three major languages of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo as well as improved downscaling of the forecast all over the country.
“NiMet with the support of the Federal Ministry of Aviation will continue to demonstrate its capacity and commitment to provide quality and timely services in line with its mandate.
“Nigeria is an active member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and therefore the agency is also committed to fulfil its international obligations.
“Our stakeholders in all-weather sensitive sectors like agriculture, aviation, maritime, environment, water resources, energy, engineering tourism and the public will find information in SCP very vital in their various operational and decision-making activities,” he said.
The minister stated that Nigeria was playing its own part in the global effort to combat climate change regarding compliance with the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
“Also by submitting the Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) secretariat in July 2021.
“The updated NDC re-stated the actions the country is committed to taking to limit global warming and climate change,” the minister said.
The NiMet Director-General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, said SCP provided a snapshot of some essential climate parameters and their behaviour within the season.
According to him, NiMet produces the publication annually in fulfilment of its mandate to provide accurate, timely and quality weather and climate information to advise the federal, states and local governments in the country.
“So also it provides the public weather and climate-related issues. The information provided in the SCP is tailored mainly to boost economic growth and prevent loses due to severe weather phenomena.
“The production process of the SCP involves scientific use of long-term meteorological data with state-of- the-art prediction models.
“Furthermore, a co-production process involving relevant stakeholders such as agriculture, aviation, construction, water resources, health, trade and tourism among others was implemented to achieve these remarkable user-tailored forecast,“ he said.
Similarly, NiMet has predicted earlier than long- term average rainfall onset dates across the country in 2023.
According to the agency, the rainfall onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country.
“However, parts of Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and Yobe in the North and Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo and Rivers in the South are likely to experience a delayed onset.
“The onset dates for parts of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos are likely to be near than long- term averages.
“The onset is expected to start from the coastal States of Bayelsa, River and Akwa Ibom in early March and around June/July in the northern states such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno,” it said.
On rainfall cessation dates, NiMet predicted an early end of season over parts of the South comprising Osun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and the eastern parts of Ogun and Lagos states.
“Parts of Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states are also predicted to have early end of season when compared to long term average conditions.
“However, an extended rainfall season is predicted over parts of Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, western Ogun and Lagos states.
“The cessation is anticipated earliest in September over parts of Sokoto and Katsina States, while it would occur much later in December over most parts of the coastal region,” it said.
NiMet forecast length of growing season in most places to be near long- term average, except for some parts of northern states like Katsina, Jigawa and Kano where shorter than long -term average length of growing season was anticipated.
According to NiMet, rainfall amount over the country in 2023 is predicted to be average to above average in most parts of Nigeria.
“However, the prediction shows that parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna States and FCT are likely to observe below average annual rainfall amount.
“Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo States and FCT are expected to have 1190 mm to 1590mm of rainfall, while Bayelsa, Akwa-Ibom, Delta and Cross River are predicted to record annual rainfall amounts of 2700mm and above,” it said.
NiMet anticipated temperature to be generally above the long- term average across the country.
It envisaged both daytime and night time temperatures to be warmer than the long-term average over most parts of the country in January, March and May.
The agency, however, predicted cooler than long-term average day and night times in February.
“On dry spell, mild to moderate (8-16 days) dry Spell is predicted to occur in April 2023 in the South after the onset is established.
“Furthermore, following the establishment of onset in the North, a severe dry spell that is likely to last between 15 to 21 days or longer is predicted in June to early July in parts of the Northern (Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Borno, Kano) and central states.
“A moderate dry spell is predicted over Niger, Nasarawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Benue, Kogi and the FCT,” it said.
NiMet predicted a mild dry spell over Ekiti, Edo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Ogun and Imo states in July.
By Gabriel Agbeja