Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) says data is a veritable tool to achieving the SDGs.
Orelope-Adefulire said this at the High-level Dialogue on “Data Bond and Responsibility Framework for SDGs” in Abuja on Thursday.
She explained that data was very important to nation planning, pointing out that without data, there won’t be any planning.
“Whoever fails to plan will plan to fail. Data is also used for measuring performance as well as to plan for programmes or projects.
“The health sector and food security, for instance, require data because you must know the number of people you are planning for.
“We are working closely with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to generate reliable data for Nigeria.
“Data is used to measure where we are in SDGs, to find out where we are now, where will we be in the next five or 10 years.
“Data is a projection as it helps us to plan ahead of time,” she added.
The Chairman of NBS Board, Dr Kabiru Nakaura also emphasised on the importance of data.
Nakaura said data was a lifeline of any economy, adding that without data, there won’t be planning, without planning, there won’t be execution and without execution, there won’t be development.
“We are aware of the daunting responsibilities and challenges being faced in the task of statistical production across all the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
“It is for this reason that the Government is working hard to put in place the enabling environment that would guarantee continuous production of the required statistics for tracking and monitoring the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.
“This has become necessary because planning and policy formulation can only be effective when statistics is promoted as a tool for evidence-based policy making.
“I commend the initiatives of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs for collaborating with the NBS in laying a solid foundation for sustained data production to support government strides in developing the Nigerian economy.
“There is no doubt that this is the right step in the right direction,” he said.
The board chairman said BBS was the custodian and authoritative source of official statistics in Nigeria which had the primary responsibility to generate statistics cutting across all spheres of human endeavours.
He added that in doing this, NBS collaborated with other stakeholders to achieve maximum results.
“As a matter of fact, to attain sustainability in the generation of quality and timely statistics, there is the need for sustained cooperation and collaboration of all data-gathering agencies in the country.”
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was attended by some agencies of government as well as development partners.