December 18, 2023

FG lists importance of data in trade, security, other govt decisions


By Godwin Oritse & Godfrey Bivbere 

THE Federal Government, FG, has recognized the importance of data for import and export trade as well as assisting the government to streamline decision making and resolving trade disputes.

Speaking at the just ended Comptroller General Conference of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, in Lagos, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said that data is needed not just for international trade but also for economic planning and development.

Tinubu, who was represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, added that data can also determine security of people and goods around the nation’s borders as these data can be shared as  indisputable information with other nations.

He explained that the government is committed to positioning Nigeria as the preferred destination for all stakeholders involved in export and import activities.

He stated: “The World is at the mercy of data and every day, we are reminded of the expanding volume of data upon which our decisions must be rooted. Data is a light guiding the ever evolving landscape of our modern world.

“For far too long, the absence of comprehensive data has been a technological application that has hindered not just Nigeria but the entire continent’s growth trajectory.

”For far too long, this inadequacy has impeded our ability to make informed decisions, perpetuating a cycle of missed opportunities and sub-optimal outcomes. ”For far too long, we have been hindered by this quail of the fourth industrial revolution; what we do in filling the gaps since we took charge to build on what our predecessors have done is what defines us.

“Nigeria is a hope of refining minds in the global knowledge economy. Even before we were given this mandate, we knew that every facet of our lives is woven with data. We will not only commit to deploying data to make decisions within the government, but to address the historical inadequacies of Nigerian policymaking, often impeded by a lack of comprehensive data. 

“Our current governance landscape demands a transformative intervention, and the solution is what has brought us together here today. There is no doubt that the timing of this clock of modernity is inviting us to take action. 

“It is imperative to adopt evidence-based processes and innovative strategies to align policies with the objectives of this administration, to streamline decision-making, and to resolve conflict arising in the country. We will not only commit to developing new policies, but to optimizing them from misinformation and inconsistent policies within the government. 

“The integration of complex data to interpret the patterns of our transactions and interactions are even more needed in international trade, because the dividends transcend the determination of revenues. 

“Data provides the sharpest lens for us to connect the dots. Even in establishing the security of our borders, we can easily determine the future of our countries. We can easily determine the traffic of people and goods around a specific border, and share indisputable information with other nations with just a punch on our computers.

“We are committed to establishing a robust public service system that upholds data integrity at its core. Our ambition extends beyond accumulation. It extends to transformation. 

“We aspire to position Nigeria as the preferred destination for all stakeholders involved in export and import activities overseen by the Nigerian Customs Service.”