By Jones Bamidele
Abuja – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has urged the Federal Government to use performance through the measurement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) instead of population to allocate revenue to states of the federation.
The call was made by Statistician General of the Federation, Mr Yemi Kale, while declaring open a public lecture to commemorate the 2018 African Statistics Day in Abuja on Thursday.
News agency of nigeria (NAN) reports that African Statistics Day is usually commemorated on Nov. 18.
Kale was represented by Mr Isiaka Olanrewaju, a Director and Programme Analyst at the NBS in Abuja.
“We should stop using only the population to allocate revenue to states; rather, performance through measurement of Sustainable Development Goals in relationship with Nigeria should be used.”
He also urged relevant agencies in Nigeria to provide government with a comprehensive, reliable and timely data to ensure the formulation of policies and monitoring of key government programmes.
He charged users, producers and suppliers of statistics in Nigeria to take advantage of the occasion to re-engineer their efforts in the production and usage of high quality statistics.
He said that several methods of generating quality data should be explored to enable Nigeria join the comity of nations with well-developed statistics.
“Development statistics at all levels requires that all hands must be on deck and we are determined to achieve this in the nearest possible time,” Kale said.
However, Mr Alphonsus Onwuemeka, the Food and Agricultural Organisation’s (FAO) Programme Officer, who represented FAO’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Suffyan Koroma, decried the quality of data generated by various agencies of the Nigerian government.
He said a lot of such data being generated in Nigeria were not harmonised and therefore not useful to end users.
“The challenge facing Nigeria (data) is brought about by officials and statistical systems that are less optimal.”
“(Tue data) are very weak, uncoordinated, and largely in-effective in meeting the needs of policy makers, investors, citizens, and international bodies that requires accurate, reliable and timely data and information for informed decisions”.
He said FAO had been collaborating with various agencies of the government in meeting the SDGs, especially Data Management System at both the national and sub-national levels.
He said such collaboration would ensure effective implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
Onwuemeka further said FAO was providing technical assistance to help various countries monitor their challenges, including capacity development needs.
He said FAO was also collaborating with the NBS and other institutions in the country to develop a technical commission on a project that would reinforce their competences.
He said such collaboration would help such institutions to generate, analyse, store, and disseminate good and timely data and information for policy planning, especially for tracking the implementation of the SDGs.
“We are also strengthening institutions responsible for data generation and dissemination processes,” he said.
Prof. Danladi Atu, Director-General, APUDI Institute for Peace and Social Rehabilitation was the Guest Speaker at the occasion.
Keynote speakers and special guests included Ms. Temilade Aromolaran, the UNICEF Social Policy Specialist and Mr Greg Nzekwu, representing the European Union.
Others are: Dr Reuben Bamidele, National Programme Officer, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Regional Office in Abuja and Abul Azad, an Economist with the World Bank. (NAN)