By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday said the country needs valid statistics to be able to eradicate poverty.
This was disclosed during the 2017 African Statistics Day celebration in Abuja with the theme “Better lives with better economic statistics “.
NBS said this year’s theme focuses on the critical role economic statistics play in underpinning economic governance that leads to durable growth and linking economic growth with better lives and better economic status for all citizens of Africa.
The Statistician General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale who was represented by the Director, Fixed Service, Samanja Maudo , in his keynote address said, the day was observed dutifully to increase public awareness of the important role statistics play in all aspects of social and economic development of African Countries and active economic governance to promote the welfare of a nation.
Kale said, “as a nation, these economic statistics are so critical in not just assessing the macroeconomic performance of our economy, but also in unlocking those hidden opportunities within our economy that need to be fully exploited and harnessed, in order to transform the lives of our citizens.”
“Statistics on macroeconomic variables such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, Savings, Investment, Interest rate, Inflation, Trade, Unemployment, Poverty, Exchange rate, Revenue, Money supply are needed to guide these decision-making processes,” he said.
He noted that, “on Monday this week, the NBS published the 3rd quarter GDP report which showed the Nigerian economy has returned to a growth path, growing at 1.40 percent in the third quarter, from the 0.72 percent recorded in the second quarter of the year. Having come out of a very difficult recession, we now have another opportunity to apply the use of these kinds of economic statistics being published”.
He stated that the forum would provide some useful thoughts towards solving the various challenges in the Nigerian Statistical System and provide the way forward for better effective statistical delivery in the country.
”It is equally my sincere belief that the forum will come up with new lines of data that we can collect and produce, as well as improved methods of data production in Nigeria,” he said.
Earlier, the Director, Real Sector and Household Statistics Department, Dr Isiaka Olarewaju, in his welcoming address, reiterated that the theme: “Better life with better Economic Statistics’ is appropriate and timely, this is obvious because for a meaningful development to be attain in an economy, there is need for reliable statistical information on key macroeconomic variables such as the Gross Domestic Production (GDP), inflation rate, Unemployment and interest rate.”
Olarewaju maintained that, “it is when we are able to collate, understand and interpret data correctly as well as develop the ability to identify key areas in the society that requires changes, that policy prescription and direction are more likely to respond to real needs of the Nigeria Society,” he said.