Ahead of the rainy season, and in order to forestall a repeat of the disaster caused by flood last years, the federal government yesterday inaugurated a 10-man interministerial committee saddled with the responsibility of mapping out a national framework for application of climate services across the country.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee at the State House, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the exercise had become imperative in view of the early weather warning of heavy rainfall.
Sambo noted that government needed to take action on the warning considering the observable effects of global climate change and its resultant consequences in the forms of rise in sea level, shift in rainfall patterns and extreme weather conditions resulting in hazards such as floods and droughts.
He noted that members of the committee had a duty to take advantage of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) “Global Framework for Climate Services” which was adopted by the WMO in 2012 with recommendations and guidelines for developing and implementing the frameworks for climate services at regional and national levels. Sambo implored the committee to discharge their assignment with all commitment and seriousness it deserved for its timely completion.
The vice president noted that it was imperative to develop a national framework for application of climate services, which could deliver several benefits including improved crop yield and enhancement of national food security.
According to him, such action would also reduce economic losses as a result of destruction of roads and other infrastructure as well as ensuring that the gains already recorded in the provision of infrastructure are not reversed by severe weather events.
He noted that the national framework would also help in reducing weather climate related health hazards and also reduce loss of lives and vulnerability of the population to disaster risks associated with extreme weather.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr Shamsudeen Usman, promised that the committee would diligently discharge its duties, saying that they would not disappoint the government and Nigerians.
Ministers who are also members of the committee include Stella Oduah (Aviation); Akinwumi Adesina (Agriculture & Rural Development); Hadiza Mailafiya ( Environment); Sarah Ochekpe (Water Resources); Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu (Health), Mike Onolememen (Works), Professor Ita Ewa Bassey (Science & Technology) and Senator Umar Idris (Transport).