Nigeria’s current administration has been urged to give attention to the production and usage of accurate statistics in all sectors for the nation to be among the top 20 economies in the world by the year 2020.
While addressing a National Stakeholders Validation Workshop in Kaduna on Thursday, the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, stressed that accurate and credible data in strategic development plans, would enable the government make better decisions for enhanced policy making.
Dr Kale further stated that Nigeria needed a robust and reliable statistics in order to effectively implement the Sustainable Development Goals and effectively monitor its socio-economic programmes.
He further pointed out that most of the nation’s past economic policies failed due to lack of well-informed decisions that would catalyse social and economic development.
The statistician also debunked speculations that Nigeria’s unemployment rate was on the increase.
Aid Policy Formation
The timing of the workshop organised by the National Bureau of Statistics is very important, as it coincided with a period of increasing focus and demand for accurate data and statistical information.
With no clear and accurate number of unemployed youths, health profile of citizens and poverty indices, the meeting, therefore, focused on sensitising relevant stakeholders on the enormous task of data generation, as entailed in the Sustainable Development Goals.
It will also review and update the National Strategic Development Plan for 2015- 2019.
The representatives of the European Union, Professor Peter Osanaiye and the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, stressed the need for the Nigerian government to strengthen the nation’s Bureau of Statistics in order to get an accurate data which will aid policy formulation.
Other stakeholders at the meeting, underscored the importance of statistics for national planning and effective policy making.
They stressed that labour statistics, which are the critical data that government needed to address the problem of unemployment, was a key social problem that human societies around the world have continued to struggle with.
Although, there are reporters that Nigeria is making impressive progress in terms of economic growth rate, the need to transform the nation’s statistical system for an effective data collection has been an issue of major concern to all successive governments.
It is hoped that at the end of the meeting, participants would come up with better suggestions on how to effectively promote the production and use of statistics.