By Cecilia Ologunagba
Abuja – Dr Yemi Kale, the Chief Executive Officer of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the Second Quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report was one of the most uploaded reports in 2017.
Kale, the Statistician – General of the Federation said this in his 2018 message posted on the bureau’s website.
He said the report was followed by the National Survey on Corruption Perception, each with more than 5000 uploads within 120 days of their release.
“My personal engagement with a vastly diverse sample of our clients convinces me of the growing appreciation for Nigeria’s official statistics. Yet, we can and must do better,’’ he said.
Kale said with the country’s emergence from economic recession in the second quarter, came greater demand for data by policymakers and business leaders seeking to identify how to sustain the recovery.
“Also to sustain the implementation of policies, prioritise programmes and ensure that the Nigerian economy gets on a more sustainable path of inclusive growth.
“Concerned citizens, eager to witness immediate changes in their socio-economic circumstances, also paid closer attention to statistical reports,’’ he said.
The statistician-general said that 2017 witnessed a considerable uptick in activities of NBS, driven in large part by an ever-growing demand for more and better data by governments, businesses and citizens.
“As 2018 beckons, it is clear that we are unlikely to see a slowdown in such demand, and I am pleased to affirm that NBS is ready, willing and able to rise to the occasion again this year.
“No doubt, 2017 was a remarkable year. A total of 198 reports were released, an increase of 85 per cent over 2016,’’ he said.
According to him, NBS is committed to surpassing these milestones in 2018, as seen in its revised data release calendar, 189 reports are already planned.
“As usual, they will be accompanied by clear, informative infographic materials, and disseminated widely across all our social media platforms.
“We remain committed to quality improvement across all our service delivery channels, in order to continually justify our multiple awards in 2017.
“As ever, the bureau will remain steadfast in guarding its professional and operational independence granted by the Statistics Act (2007), especially as the political climate builds up.’’
The statistician-general said that efforts would be made to provide adequate explanations and context for data releases, and prioritise statistical advocacy efforts to limit the misuse of data.
Kale, however, acknowledged the support of government at all levels and institutional partners towards improving the availability and quality of official statistics in the country.
The statistician-general prayed that 2018 would be a year of better statistical funding, both at the federal level and to state statistical agencies.
He said the importance of statistical data for identifying development priorities and shaping public policy should not be subjected to vagaries of the socio-economic or political climate.
“Rather, leaders must continually emphasise and utilise evidence-based approaches, whether in policy or business.
“If this is not done, it becomes impossible to objectively identify key areas in our society that actually require change.
“It will be difficult to accurately determine what policy prescriptions will best respond to the real needs of the country or take advantage of the next big business opportunity in this resilient economy.
“We are confident that the year will bring numerous opportunities for us to effectively support policymakers.
“We look forward to another fulfilling year for us at the bureau, our partners and data users,’’ Kale said.