World Bank pledges to assist Nigeria strengthen statistical system

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A Statistician, Development Data Group of the World Bank Mr Alain Gaugris, has said the bank would assist Nigeria to strengthen its statistical system.

At a two-day meeting of the National Consultative Committee on Statistics (NCCS) held in Calabar, he said the bank would position the country’s statistical system to fully contribute to the transformation agenda through evidenced-based policy formulation.

“The bank is actively involved in statistical development in Nigeria, mainly through a grant called Statistics for Results Facility (SRF). The US$10 million grant project focuses on capacity building at the federal level for National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and National Population Commission (NPC),” Gaugris said.

The statistician said the project would also focus on capacity building at the six pilot states in the six geo-political zones of the country.

According to him, the pilot states are Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Niger and Ondo. Gaugris said that the objective of the three-year project was to initiate the implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) by producing reliable statistics in participating states.

Gaugris said the projects were already yielding tangible results, as the NPC and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) websites had been revamped as well as the establishment of a state of the art data portal.

He urged the federal and state governments, media, civil society and advocacy groups to play their roles toward the development of the National Statistical System (NSS). Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River, who declared the meeting opened, urged members of the committee to pay attention to the funding of statistical production at the federal, state and local government levels.

Imoke who was represented by his Economic Adviser, Prof. Nyem Ayara, stressed the need for NCCS to strengthen statistical systems at all levels and

urged them to explore how the private sector would be more effectively involved in statistical production and utilisation.

“I call on this meeting to examine creative funding sources for statistical development, improvement of data quality, standardisation of statistical units of measurement, regularity of data and quality of trained statistical personnel,” he said. Dr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation called on relevant stakeholders to be committed to statistical development.

The statistician-general said that the availability of adequate and quality statistics would also ensure the monitoring and evaluation of government policies and programmes to achieve developmental goals.

He said NCCS was established with the Statistics Act 2007 as one of the mechanisms for coordinating the statistical system to ensure harmonisation across statistical programmes. Kale said NCCS was also established to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure uniformed standards and methodologies among the various agencies with a view to improving the quality and timeliness of statistical input.

Membership of NCCS is drawn from the NBS, States Bureau of Statistics, the Nigerian Army, Customs, Police, Prisons, Immigration, Community and Faith Based Organisations, NGOs and other relevant agencies.

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