The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, on Friday tasked statisticians to come up with appropriate and improved methods of data production in Nigeria.
Udoma, who delivered a keynote address at an event to celebrate the African Statistics Day in Abuja, called for close collaboration between users of statistics and producers of statistical information in order to ensure the attainment of desired results.
He said the use of data should form an essential element in government’s decision-making process, as timely statistical information was expected to provide the basis for making decisions in the governance of the country.
The minister explained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to steady economic growth and sustainable development.
This, he noted, was why the government placed more emphasis on accurate data collection, analysis and projections.
Udoma said, “In order to get Nigeria out of the economic situation we inherited, we need to plan. In order to plan, we need statistics. So, statistics are very important.
“You cannot plan without accurate statistics and that is why we support the National Bureau of Statistics to produce accurate statistics on which we can plan. After planning, you have to implement.”
“You cannot know what you are implementing unless you can assess it; in order to assess it, you need to measure it; and the measurement is what the NBS does for us.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Statistician General of the Federation and Head of the NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, said the less regard placed on statistical projections in the past was largely responsible for the current state of the economy, as several warnings signs were ignored.
He said data had long indicated that perilous times were coming if nothing was done to redress the prevailing situation at the time, but the authorities then refused to pay attention.
Kale noted that while it was clear since 2014 that the economy was heading for full recession, nothing was done about it.