Speaking at the yearly meeting of the African Science Academies, held in Lagos last month (12-14 November), Anthony Anuforom, director-general of the Nigerian Meteorology Agency (NIMET), said that a 'national climate service policy' would ensure greater management and use of data on events such as flooding, prolonged droughts and heat waves.
"Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and intensity. We have evidence of an increasing frequency of thunderstorms. We need to think of establishing a national framework for climate service," he said.
Anuforom said the framework would ensure better public communication of climate issues such as rainfall, flooding, drought and rising temperatures.Nigeria 'must close climate change communication gap' - SciDev.Net
"Users would include farmers, policymakers, health workers, environmentalists and universities in Nigeria," he said.
According to Nigeria's National Emergency Management Agency, 363 people died and a further 2.1 million were displaced between July to October because of flooding.
Anuforom said that inadequate information on disaster risk reduction and the lack of a framework to ensure that climate data are passed between agencies such as NIMET and policymakers was partly responsible for the damage and deaths caused by these floods.
"Part of the problem of the recent floods was due to a communication gap. There is no formal policy connecting service providers like us with the users of the information," he explained.