By Cecilia Ologunagba
Lagos – Emeritus Professor of Statistics, Timothy Bamiduro, has warned young statisticians not to manipulate data but adopt international best practices in the gathering and processing of data to enhance inclusive development.
Bamiduro gave the warning at a session with Young Statisticians at the end of the 3-day International Statistical Conference on Friday in Lagos, organised by the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA).
He said no government could build a nation without data, adding that without data, there would not be planning.
The professor said any manipulated statistics could misinform the citizens and undermine the importance of data.
“The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) just released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) that says Nigeria is out of recession has clearly stated the importance of statistics.
“Imagine if the report is wrong or manipulated, it will have negative impact on the economy and the image of the statisticians that computed it.
“I am not saying the GDP report is wrong I am just giving it as a reference,’’ he said.
He told the participants that application of statistics could easily be abused by non-professionals because of the availability of technology.
The professor, however, advised them to equip themselves so that they would excel in the discipline and the profession.
“Opportunities are very many in field, unless you are qualified, you will not get them and if you do, you may not excel in them.
“You need to be competent in the methodology and application of statistics so that you will be able to contribute to the nation’s building,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, some participants who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after the conference said, they learnt some new techniques in the gathering and processing of data.
Mr Jacob Akinkibare, a statistician, based in Lagos said he had learnt new innovations and methodologies of gathering and processing data.
“ I have never remained the same with the session attended because I have gained new knowledge, particularly from the presentations from international speakers.
“The NSA should improve on what they have done this year so that we can continue to update our knowledge in the profession.
“I will also advice the association to improve on publicity so that more people can be aware of the activities and participate actively,’’ he said.
Another statistician, Ms Bridget Etor, said she learnt new technique on how she could improve on data gathering and processing.
Etor, a statistician working with the Ikono Local government Council, Akwa Ibom, said she was also exposed to the activities of NSA.
“This is the first time I iattended the conference, I have learnt that we should make data alive so that it can be used for proper planning,’’ she said.
Also, Oyelesi James, a student of Lagos State Polytechnic, said the knowledge learnt had widened his understanding about statistical methodologies and application.
` I learnt how to present papers and the type of models to use based on data either discrete or continuous,’’ he said.
The conference was first of its kind since the association was established over 40 years ago.
NSA founded in 1976 as a non-profit making professional body comprising of Statisticians, Economists, Planners, Demographers, Analysts and corporate organisations with interest in Statistics. (NAN)