By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, says lack of comprehensive and harmonized data for monitoring targets contributed in denying Nigeria the attainment of most of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Dr. Kale made the assertion on Wednesday during the stakeholders’ workshop on data mapping for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), held in Abuja
According to the Statistician General, the experience from the MDGs implementation in Nigeria points to critical challenges posed by lack of comprehensive, up-to-date and harmonized data for monitoring progress and success recorded for some of the goals and target.
He said there was no comprehensive data production strategy for monitoring of the MDGs from the onset, adding that the roles and responsibility for who produces what was not properly outlined.
He also stated that no appropriate methodologies for computation of indicators were established and that the commensurate funding for data production lacking.
This he said resulted in serious difficulties and challenges midway through implementation of the MDGs process, most especially in ascertaining Nigeria’s status in the process.
Meanwhile, he admitted that Nigeria made progress in achieving some of the goals.
‘‘I can’t categorically say whether we were successful or not because we started tracking four years late. We ought to have had our baseline from the beginning, you have to track what you went through and then track the end but we started tracking half way.
‘‘The development of system of statistics in Nigeria must be enhanced, if we must not have so much gaps in reporting the SDGs.
‘‘Though, Nigeria did the best in terms of tracking the MDGs. It is not important to discuss whether we met them or not but what we are talking about is where we were able to provide timely and quality data to report how far we have gone.
‘‘There was no baseline, now we are setting a baseline from this year.’’
As Nigeria prepares to usher in the new sustainable development framework as defined by SDGs, he said there is need to set out a comprehensive, well-defined and coordinated strategy for data production at both national and sub-national levels to effectively track progress towards achieving the proposed goals.