A unified statistical data reflecting the current realities in the society at all levels will enhance sustainable development, the Akwa Ibom State governor, Umo Eno, has said.
The governor spoke in Uyo while declaring open the Southern States Stakeholders’ Workshop on third phase of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) 2024 -2028.
Commending the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for its efforts to modernise both the National and State Statistical System to enable production of official statistics that all stakeholders would rely on for their respective programme and projects.
The initiative the governor said aligned with the State government’s ongoing efforts to establish a modernised Akwa Ibom State Bureau of Statistics (AK-SBS).
Describing statistics as a globally acknowledged public good, Eno urged participants at the workshop to contribute diligently to the new statistical development strategy to address gaps and challenges hindering the production of unified data that accurately reflects current emerging realities in the society.
“Having a unified data system will enhance the nation’s effort towards sustainable development,” the governor said.
In his introductory remarks, the Statistician General of the Federation, Adeyemi Adeniran, said the two-day engagement workshop would provide an opportunity for the people in the region to make inputs towards the development of a new strategy to drive the growth of the statistical system in the country .
The workshop, the Statistician General said, was the third in the series over the past couple of months, in line with the NBS role as the coordinator of the Statistical System in Nigeria to developing a new national statistics strategy for the country.
He said the process, which commenced in early September this year, with the engagement of Statisticians as Consultants and Support towards the drafting of the new strategy, places premium on stakeholder consultations and inclusiveness.
Apart from a similar session held recently in Kano for stakeholders from all the northern states in the country, the other session was held in Abuja for federal-level stakeholders to afford the NBS the opportunity to harvest inputs and ideas towards the development of the new NSDS.
“The wealth of ideas and contributions garnered from Stakeholders thus far under this process, be it data producers, suppliers, and users across various sectors, has laid a solid foundation for the forthcoming drafting of this phase III of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), which will span 2024 – 2028,” the Statistician General said.
Highlighting the importance of statistics as the bedrock of an informed and thriving society, Adeyemi said statistics usually guide policy formulation, resource allocation, and progress evaluation.
He stressed the need to forge a robust strategy to guide the growth and development of the system that was responsible for producing the data that all depend on, individually and collectively.
The National strategy, he said, would not only emphasise data production and dissemination, but also focus on the policy application of this data for maximum impact, in this rapidly evolving digital landscape.
The new strategy would embrace the global principle sustainable development agenda, by catering to the needs of all segments of the society, by addressing data gaps related to marginalised groups, regions, and sectors, including issues related to gender, persons with disabilities, and those at the local government level.
He said the new strategy would ensure accuracy and quality, by continuously striving for excellence in data collection, analysis, and dissemination to maintain the trust and confidence of data users and policymakers.
Also, the new strategy would adopt innovation and technology to streamline data collection, analysis, reporting, and dissemination processes, while promoting partnership and collaboration, capacity building, sustained investment in the development of human capital resources across the system.