The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has disowned the Nigerian Lightening Safety and Research Center (NLSRC) over a lightening forecast issued in a publication by the research centre.
The NLSRC, a Non-Governmental organisation registered in the USA with focus on lightening Safety education and awareness, had on April 15, issued a warning that 2.9 million lightening strikes are expected in Nigeria in May.
The organisation which highlighted some states with high risk of the lightening to include; Taraba, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta, Imo, Abia among others, urged Nigerians to stay indoors if they hear any thunder.
NiMet, in a statement issued by its general manager in charge of public relations, Muntari Yusuf Ibrahim, discredited the forecast, adding “that at no time did it authorize NLSRC to issue any such weather forecast to the public, as this is the statutory function of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.”
According to the agency, “NiMet is statutorily mandated under Sections 7 (1) (a) and (i) of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency Establishment Act, 2022 (NiMet Act), to advise the Federal Government on ALL aspects of meteorology and to collect, process and disseminate ALL meteorological data and information within and outside Nigeria. NiMet is also the SOLE AUTHORITY to prescribe and issue the meteorological data and information required for all sectoral activities in Nigeria (Section 7(2)).”
While urging the public to disregard weather information from the NLSRC and any other aside NiMet, it however stated that subject to the above provision, “any person who collects, uses or disseminates weather forecast or any other meteorological information obtained from any other source outside the approval, licence or authority of the Agency for commercial or public purpose, commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine or a term of imprisonment or both (Section 30 (2) of the NiMet Act).”