The Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Tuesday predicted that 13 states will experience below normal rainfall which will pose challenges to enhanced food production.
This is even as Agency advice that rainwater harvesting should be encourage during the rainy season to enable it’s availability during the dry season and support farming during the dry season later in the year.
The incoming Director General, NiMet Professor Sani Mashi who disclosed this in Abuja, at the public presentation of the 2017 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and unveiling of the 2016 Nigerian Climate Review Bulletin, said that cessation dates of the rains in the year is predicted to start from around October in the extreme North and reach the coastal states around 25 December 2017.
According to him; “In 2017 Katsina is expected to experience the earliest cessation date around October 4th 2017. Early cessation of rainfall is predicted in many parts of the North and inland of the south east during 2017. Extended rains three to eight days are predicted for areas in and around Adamawa, Ogun, Edo, the Niger Delta and low-lying areas such as Lagos.
The predicted rainfall amount is expected to be below normal over Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Gombe, Kebbi, Plateau, Taraba, Benue, Kogi, northern Cross River, Enugu state,Imo, Abia, and some of the coastal areas while it is predicted to be above normal in and around sokoto, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun and Adamawa states while the rest of the country will experience ‘normal’ rainfall”
Prof. Mashi, while noting that the shorter rainfall will affect the Federal Government’s policy on agriculture and food security as a business towards foreign exchange earnings, therefore called on the government to take the predictions very serious to enable it meet its projections in the current policy.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, expressed believe in NiMet’s capacity and accuracy.
The Minister who called for proper application of the SRP to achieve economic development, highlighted the importance of SRP in agriculture, food security, water resources management, environmental management, marine, health, disaster, waste management and reduction.
Sen. Sirika further urged Nigerian’s, planners and users of the system to believe in it, key into it,respect it, utilize it and apply it for the good of all.
Earlier, the NiMet’s outgoing DG, Dr.Anthony Anuforom noted that there is a great need to put in place adequate measures to reduce the impacts of climate related risks.
Dr. Anuforom, disclosed that Agency has achieved over 80% accuracy in it’s Rainfall Predictions in recent years, stating that that level of accuracy is significantly higher than the acceptable World Meteorological Organisation’s minimum acceptable threshold of 60%.
Disaster managers were also called upon to note the below the normal rainfall predicted in several areas and to incorporate the information into their contingency plans for the year.