The Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr Yemi Kale, has urged journalists to join the crusade to make the country a data-conscious nation by popularising the place of statistics.
Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation, made the call at the opening of a Sensitisation Workshop for Journalists covering NBS on Monday in Mararaba, Nasarawa.
Kale, represented by Mr Isiaka Olarewaju, Director, Real Sector and Household Statistics Department in the bureau, said that popularising the place of statistics would enhance economic growth in the county.
The statistician-general said that some members of the public had expressed some skepticism about some of the data produced by NBS.
Kale said that they had expressed this skepticism based on their belief that the numbers did not reflect the reality of things around them.
“After this workshop, it is my belief that the number of such issues will be reduced.
“It will be addressed because members of the media, through their better understanding of the numbers and processes, will assist to interpret the numbers to the public.
“ We should also understand that Nigeria is a developing country and as such, positive and negative data on some economic and social indicators are expected,’’ he said.
Responding on behalf of the journalists, Mr Tola Akinwutimi thanked the NBS for organising the workshop again after three years.
Akinwutimi, a Group Business Editor, National Mirror Newspaper, commended the bureau for transforming its operations and timely release of its reports.
He, however, appealed to the bureau to further simplify the reports and make it interpretive for better reportage.
“ We will appreciate you simplify your reports and put it in a summary format so that we can understand it better,’’ he said.
The editor also appealed to NBS to sustain the workshop and make it a yearly programme.
In his presentation, Mr Simeon Harry, Head of Department, Corporate Planning and Technical Coordination Department, NBS, urged journalists to further sensitise public to the importance of statistics.
Harry, who gave a presentation on “NBS: The Past, Present and Future,’’ said that bureau had transformed its operations from analogue to digital.
The official said that NBS was one of the leading bureaus in Africa, noting that it was only the South African Bureau that was ahead of NBS in the region.
He said that the only instrument to maximise economic benefit was through the use of statistics for planning and developmental purpose.
“Today, we are having issue of abandoned projects, with the statistics that will be prevented.
“Also, for us to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), we need statistics to give us guide and sense of direction to implement the goals,’’ Harry said.
No fewer than 30 journalists attended the workshop.