By Ezra Ukanwa
ABUJA—AS part of efforts to boost bilateral relationship between Nigeria and India, the Federal Government, FG, and the government of India have signed a Memorandum Of Understanding, MoU, for collaboration in the conduct of Meteorological science, technical research and development.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation on Public Affairs, James Odaudu, the MoU was signed on behalf of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, by its Director-General, Professor Mansur Matazu and the Director-General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dr. Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, who signed on behalf of IMD.
The MoU was, however, signed during the recent Executive Council meeting of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
Explaining the essence of the MoU, the Director-General of NiMet, Professor Mansur Matazu said 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-standardized 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 parties are signatories.
In order to ensure a seamless implementation of the Memorandum, the two countries resolved that a Technical Committee of six members (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 preparing annual reports.
Speaking after the event, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who oversaw the signing ceremony alongside the Indian High Mission to Geneva, said the signing of the MoU marked another milestone in the unprecedented growth of NiMet under the Buhari administration.
According to Sirika, 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 optimism that the recent NiMet Act recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari would be a tonic for further growth of the organization both professionally and economically.