HOUSE of Representatives Committee on Aviation has decried that with the services the Nigerian Meteorological Agency ( NiMET) offers to many sectors apart from aviation, it is regrettable that the agency’s Internally Generated Revenue(IGR) is porous as only aviation pays for their services.
To this end, the committee has said that the current amendment Bills on Nigerian Meteorological Agency, (NIMET) would help expand the agency’s revenue base and compel others benefiting from the agency’s services to pay for rendered services.
NIMET offers a wide range of services to various sectors of the economy, including to marine, oil and gas ,construction industry, water resources and agriculture without returns however only the aviation sector pays the agency for its services.
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.
Honourable Nnaji said the current 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 these other sectors 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 make use of its services.
He praised 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.
Earlier in welcoming the committee, 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 category of professionals, adding that the agency’s pool of manpower are world class professionals in Meteorological services.
He sought the supports of the National Assembly to enable NIMET expand its internally generated revenue, (IGR) beyond aviation sector.
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 .
Professor Mashi also informed the committee that the marine sector, water and agriculture use its services extensively without paying a dime for such services being rendered to the sector.