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Dust over qualification of Nimet DG

The appointment of the Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) is still generating disquiet three months after, Daily Trust can report.

Prof. Charles Anosike was appointed as the new CEO of Nimet following the sack of the former CEO, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, alongside other CEOs of aviation agencies in December 2023.

While Anosike has since assumed the leadership of the agency, stakeholders have queried the appointment, saying he was not an expert in meteorology as stipulated in the Act establishing the agency.

Part III, 10 (3) of Nimet 2022 Act (as amended) said, “A person shall not be appointed as the Director-General, except he has a recognised professional degree in meteorology or any other meteorological related sciences with at least 15 years cognate experience, five of which shall be at senior management level.”

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Also, part 4 of the Act read: “The Director-General shall be the permanent representative of Nigeria in the World Meteorological Organisation in accordance with the provisions of Article 6, Part V of the Convention of the World Meteorological Organisation, 1947.”

The WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation in atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.

Nigeria is a member of WMO and the DG of Nimet is expected to be the permanent representative of Nigeria to the organisation.

A check on the website of the organisation indicated that the name of former Nimet DG is still listed as the permanent representative, an indication that the organisation may not as yet recognise the new DG over his qualification.

Our correspondent reports that the new DG of Nimet was appointed Director of Applied Meteorological Science (AMS) in January 2022 by former Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

His profile on the website of Nimet read: “With over 25 years of collective experience in the private sector and academia and a proven knack for systems thinking, sustainability and leadership development.

“Completed a Doctorate in Business Administration – Leadership specialization from Walden University with dissertation research titled “Sustainability Efforts of One Multinational Oil Company in Niger Delta, Nigeria.”

However, despite his track record and experience in the private sector, experts and stakeholders said his appointment to head the Nimet, a purely technical organisation, is against the spirit and letter of the Act establishing the agency.

As soon as his appointment was announced, a law firm Beagle & Falcon petitioned President Bola Tinubu, saying the appointment of Anosike violated the agency’s Act.

In a four-page petition dated December 18, 2023, titled ‘Nimet DGSHIP: Charles Anosike Appointment Without Required Qualifications and Cognate Experience,’ the law firm urged the president to rescind the appointment.

Also this month, the Institute of Physical Science, Honolulu, United States, called on Tinubu to remove the DG, saying he was not qualified for the position.

A petition dated March 6, 2024, signed by the President of the Association of Physical Scientists of North America, Dr Olukutun Abraham and addressed to Tinubu, highlighted the technical, legal and political consequences of the appointment on his government.

The letter was titled, “Charles Anosike Appointment as Nimet DG: Technical, Legal and Political Consequences on your Government.”

The institute called on President Tinubu to as a matter of urgency, reverse the appointment.

According to the petition, Anosike lacked the meteorological qualifications and experience to head Nimet, adding that he also lacked an understanding of the science of meteorology.

The petition said, “I can assure you that your appointee will be a farce and jocular in the eyes of member states in the WMO assembly because he is not qualified in the field of science of meteorology or any physical science.

“Sir, with this appointment it means an engineer can be the Chief Justice of the Federation, a journalist can be the Chief Medical Director of a teaching hospital or a chemist to be the Inspector General of Police among so many odd anomalies.”

Tinubu was misled – Ex-Nimet DG

A former DG of Nimet, Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi, in a chat with our correspondent, said Tinubu must have been misled on the appointment and called on him to address the anomaly.

“The president actually was misled. His appointment is clearly against the Act. And it is not proper for things like this to be happening.

“At least there are many people he can appoint if it is a Yoruba man you want, an Igbo man or if it is a Hausa man, you don’t have to violate the law in order to do it.

“Because if he starts violating one law, it means he can go ahead to violate 100 laws.”

When contacted, the Director of Press and Public Affairs in the Ministry of Aviation, Mr Odutayo Oluseyi, said he would find out about the petitions against the Nimet DG’s appointment and get back to me.

He was yet to as of the time of filing this report.

Also, the Special Assistant to the DG, Dr Uche Nworah, when contacted, asked our correspondent to send a message to him on WhatsApp which was done but he was yet to respond to the enquiry as of press time.  

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