The Nigerian Government and its Indian counterpart have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in the conduct of Meteorological science, technical research and development.
The MoU was signed on behalf of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) by its Director-General, Professor Mansur Matazu and Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) who signed on behalf of the agency in his country.
A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Public Affairs, Dr. James Odaudu, disclosed that the agreement was signed during the recent Executive Council meeting of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
The DG of NiMet, Prof. Matazu explained that the main objective of the proposed collaboration is to provide bilateral relationship between NiMet and its Indian counterpart towards meteorological development in the two countries.
According to the MoU, the parties have agreed to work together in the provision of WMO-standardised services in Numerical Weather Prediction Capability, Meteorological Sensor Designing and Satellite Meteorology.
Other proposed areas of collaboration include; Scientific research on meteorology and its applications in various sectors, ‘Nowcasting’ and Early warning capabilities and Capacity building activities.
The MoU also provides that all inventions, improvements, original works and/or discoveries, which are conceived or made during collaborative projects will remain the property of both parties who will jointly have right to seek the intellectual property protection.
Both parties are also expected to ensure that such cooperation consists of their respective laws, rules, regulations and other international agreements to which both are signatories.
In order to ensure a seamless implementation of the Memorandum, the two countries resolved that a six member Technical Committee (three members representing each of the parties) shall be set up to implement this MoU, while the position of Chairman of the Committee shall alternate between the parties on annual basis.
The Technical Committee shall have the responsibility of advising on legal, training and financial procedures for the implementation of the MoU and monitoring the progress of the collaboration and prepare annual reports.
Speaking after the event, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who oversaw the signing ceremony alongside the Indian High Mission to Geneva, said that the MoU marked another milestone in the unprecedented growth of NiMet under the Buhari administration.
According to him, the event was also a great testimonial to the global leadership of NiMet within the world meteorological community which has been attained during the current tenure of Professor Mansur Matazu as Director General.
He expressed his optimism that the recent NiMet Act recently signed by President Buhari will be a tonic for further growth of the organisation both professionally and economically.