SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Prospects Of Achieving Buhari’s Reform Agenda, SDGs And Africa Agenda, 2063 Hinge On Credible Data-Agba

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By Cyber Era Staff

The reform agenda of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) and Africa Agenda 2063 will not be realized in the absence of time-bound and accurate data.

This assertion was contained in the opening address by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning Prince Clem Ikanade Agba during the celebration of the 2020 World Statistics Day held at at the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Abuja on October 20, 2020.

According to Agba, there was no doubt that the theme for this year’s World Statistics Day was timely, apt and of immense importance, considering the increasing use of statistics in the design and implementation of Government policies and programmes.” In particular, it is appropriate, especially at this time that Nigeria is on the process of designing a medium term and a perspective development plan tagged, Nigeria Agenda, 2050. In essence, the prospects of achieving the present administration’s reform agenda and other development programmes such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa Agenda, 2063 can only be realized through the use of time-bound and accurate data. Thus, it is my expectation that the experiences which will be shared during this Public Lecture, the resolutions and agreements which will come out of it will help to a great extent, strengthen the existing systems of statistical production in Nigeria. It is for this reason that we carefully chose to focus the Public Lecture for the celebration of this global event on “Connecting Nigeria with data we can trust”.

The Minister stated that Government was aware of the daunting responsibilities and challenges facing statistical Institutions in Nigeria in the performance of their crucial task, bearing in mind that planning and policy formulation could only be effective when statistics was promoted as a tool for development planning and evidence-based policy making. “It is against backdrop that the present democratic Government places high premium on Statistical Information as an ingredient for effective planning and implementation of her policies and programmes. As you are all aware, one of the main concerns of Government’s development programmes is addressing the problem of poverty in all its ramification. To achieve this, Government will want to have at her fingertips the status of these problems in Nigeria. In the same vein, to address the low level of development in the country, there must be reliable and timely indicators on major sectors of the economy such as Agriculture, Education, Manufacturing, Health, Transport, to mention but a few. This, I must mention is at the centre of the Agenda of the present democratic Government which we are determined to achieve, “ he said

Agba informed that Government had taken the repositioning and strengthening of the National Statistical System as a priority to enable it cope with the challenges ahead. “As a matter of policy, Government is determined to ensure the production of accurate, timely and reliable statistical information that would serve as a guide for good governance. There must be a paradigm shift in the way and manner government business is being conducted if we must achieve meaningful development. Therefore, to ensure the existence of robust and reliable statistics, we must be determined to entrench a system that will eliminate the attitudes of falsifying information for self-interest as well as planning programmes without recourse to facts. You are all witnesses to the fact that these types of attitudes have, no doubt, retarded our development in the past by making it difficult to determine where to provide essential services and at what quantity. I, therefore, enjoin all participants to use this Public Lecture as an opportunity for instilling statistical consciousness and awareness in the minds of individuals and the general public,” he said.

He thanked participants at the public lecture while reiterating his challenge to them to come up with feasible ways and means of improving the delivery of good statistics in Nigeria, saying, he believed the recommendations that would be emerging from this public lecture would help in refocusing the production of statistics for efficient and effective service delivery in the country.

I am greatly delighted to be part of this important occasion in the history of statistical development in Nigeria. The importance of this occasion is underscored by the fact that the entire World, and in particular Nigeria, is observing today, 20thOctober, 2020 as the World Statistics Day. Indeed, as you may be aware the United Nations General Assembly at its sitting on 3 June, 2010 resolved to designate today as World Statistics Day. This resolution was informed by the recognition of the importance of the production of adequate, reliable and timely statistics as well as indicators of countries’ progress as indispensable tools for informed policy decisions and monitoring of the progress made in achieving Global Development Goals. For this reason, the UN General Assembly in its resolution requested all member states, organizations, as well as civil societies to observe this day as World Statistics Day. Thus, in compliance with this resolution, the Government of Nigeria approved the observance of this day with series of activities aimed at promoting the importance of statistics in development planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and projects. The grand finale of the celebration will focus on the global theme for the celebration of the day tagged “Connecting the world with data we can trust”.

It will be recalled that the United Nations General Assembly at its sitting on June 3, 2010 resolved to designate October 20 as World Statistics Day. This resolution was informed by the recognition of the importance of the production of adequate, reliable and timely statistics as well as indicators of countries’ progress as indispensable tools for informed policy decisions and monitoring of the progress made in achieving Global Development Goals.

For this reason, the UN General Assembly in its resolution requested all member states, organizations, as well as civil societies to observe the day as World Statistics Day.

In compliance with this resolution, the Government of Nigeria approved the observance of this day with series of activities aimed at promoting the importance of statistics in development planning, policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and projects.

The grand finale of the celebration will focus on the global theme for the celebration of the day tagged “Connecting the world with data we can trust”.

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