- Statistician-General Advocates Data-driven Policy
The Statistician-General, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr Yemi Kale, has called for data-driven policy approach to help provide the necessary impetus for the continued delivery of accurate, relevant and timely data.
Kale said this on Tuesday while delivering the 2019 Annual Lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Lagos, held at the J.F Ade-Ajayi auditorium of the university.
The theme of the lecture was, ‘From conundrums and contradictions to coherence and consistency: Data and policies for Nigeria’s development.’
The Statistician-General said, “The development challenges facing the country are not insurmountable; they are more or less the consequences of actions and policy choices taken at some point. Importantly, we have seen that the availability and use of data help not only to better understand these current developments but also aids our ability to assess the required options for addressing them.
“Yet, the challenges that face data production also remain enormous even as our society continues to generate significantly larger amounts of data daily. As a public good, governments will need to continually invest in the data generation infrastructure, just as they invest in physical and social infrastructure. Moreover, as the economy becomes more sophisticated over time, new tools, sources and methods are required to ensure that we are measuring what is important within our context – and doing so in the right way.”
Kale also called for collaboration between the academic research community and the private sector, saying this will enable data producers to continually develop the necessary tools and improve data generation processes.
The Head of Economics Department of the university, Prof Riskat Dauda, said there could be meaningful progress without good, reliable and timely data.
“Reliable and accessible data is essential for the design of sound and effective policies necessary for a well-informed decision-making process, good governance, accountability, and remarkable development outcomes.
“In Nigeria, just like many developing countries, one of the most difficult conundrums for experts is the lack of access to reliable and quality data. In the same vein, the few available data suffers from a paradox of contradictions. We don’t want the conundrums and contradictions any longer. We seek to move to data coherence and consistency, and therefore formulate policies to promote Nigeria’s development,” Dauda said.
Also, the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, Prof Iyiola Oni, said, inaccurate, flawed, incomplete or misleading statistics would have a negative effect on planning and national development.