By Franklin Alli
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has announced plans to conduct a National Census of Industries and Businesses in the country next year.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abubakar Muhammad, who disclosed this at a public forum in Lagos, said that the census will enable the Ministry to ascertain the actual number of industries that are dead, moribund, have changed names or products, or that are functioning.
He said that the greatest challenge facing the producers and users of Industrial and Business Statistics in Nigeria today was the absence of reliable and consistent industrial data.Â Dr. Muhammad observed that in the developed world, about 60 per cent of data was derived through administrative records, whereas in Nigeria, a greater proportion of the data required are sourced through survey and census which have not been consistent in nature.
He therefore opined that it was necessary to carry out the census in order to have accurate industrial statistical information, arguing that the level of economic development of any country was to a large extent dependent on the level to which it uses industrial data to plan and implement its programmes. Speaking further, he pointed out that National Census of industries and business was supposed to be conducted every 10 years in order to generate industrial statistics.
He said that in Nigeria the first NCIB was conducted in 1987/88 while the second started in 1997 and ended in 2000.
He described statistics as the lens through which government can remain transparent and accountable to the people stating that the destiny of our country was in the quality of statistics we are producing.
Industrial indicators such as â€“â€“ Industrial Production Index, Contribution of the manufacturing sector to the GDP, Consumer Price Indices etc.