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    NBS promises to assist with useful information in tackling insecurity in Nigeria

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    By Hosea Parah, Abuja

    The Statistician General of the federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Prince Adeyemi Adeniran has assured Nigerians of his organization initiative to contribute to the solution of insecurity in Nigeria by providing government with relevant information and evidence that can assist in tackling the challenge, with a statistical overview.
    Prince Adeyemi Adeniran gave this assurance during His speech at the Opening ceremony for the 45th Annual Statistical Conference of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) on Thursday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.
    The Theme of the annual conference which attributed participantes across the country is ” SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA AND ASSOCIATED CONSEQUENCES: “

    Prince Adeniran said the security situation in the country will improve in the short to medium-term period , given the capacity for which the security agencies are known to have, and recent successes being recorded. They will however, as a responsible Coordinator of the Statistical System, continue to review the situation and put measures in place to guarantee the safety of all their personnel and equipment, while ensuring to fulfil their statutory mandate of producing and disseminating data for all users.

    Adding that the topic for this year’s conference, Insecurity and its associated consequences for the national statistical system, is very appropriate at this time, given the prevailing insecurity in the country, as well as the United Nations’ sustained push for data revolution in developing countries. “The spate of insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in recent times has been well documented. This is in addition to other challenges in areas such as the economy, health, and education just to mention a few. ” He stated.

    According to him, the wave of terrorist attacks on civilians, kidnappings, and property destruction in virtually all parts of the country has occupied the attention and focus of government, private sector, international and civil society organizations, as well as the public.
    “These have had profound negative effects on the general macroeconomic and socioeconomic conditions in the country, with no sector or group of persons immune from its effect. The national statistical system is not exempted in this regard. ” He said

    Prince Adeyemi listed the ways in which insecurity has affected the statistical system and the critical work they do pointing out that “it is necessary to take some time to reflect on their work as statisticians, and the uniqueness of this work in a developing country like ours.”
    At the global level, he said Nigeria like most other countries, has signed up to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which sets out a framework for development in a sustainable manner, with a fundamental focus on leaving no one behind.
    On the continental level, he said Nigeria is also a signatory to the Africa Agenda 2063, which is the blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

    The Statistician General explained that the strategic framework for delivering on Africa’s goal for inclusive and sustainable development and a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress, and collective prosperity are adequately addressed.
    At National level , Prince Adeniran Nigeria’s National Development Plan 2021 – 2025, which is a medium-term blueprint designed to unlock the country’s potentials in all sectors of the economy for a sustainable, holistic, and inclusive national development has been launched adding that the plan , if implemented, is expected to by 2025, achieve an average economic growth of 4.6 percent, lift 35 million people out of poverty, create 21 million full-time jobs, and raise the revenue to GDP ratio from the current 6percent, to 15 percent by 2025.
    Said he,” While all these are noble and worthwhile aspirations and targets, all these plans and goals are impossible and unachievable without statistics. It is the data we generate through our various systems of statistical production (Surveys, censuses, administrative systems, or big data) that will inform the policymakers of their successes or otherwise in the implementation of all these plans.”

    According to him,” how can government know if it has achieved an average annual economic growth of 4.6 percent without the use of GDP figures from NBS? How would people know if 35 million people are out of poverty without a robust national living standard survey conducted by NBS? So, Statistics is not a side item or an after thought as it was in times past, but a primary focus in the agenda, hence the increasing recognition of this fact within policy conversations in the country. “

    Prince Adeniran said While they are increasingly generating a lot more administrative in NBS, is produced from surveys, census, or field data collection. The insecurity poses a serious challenge for the system in this regard, as several cases of attack on the field staff, robbery and theft of survey equipment, and kidnappings have been recorded. Also, there have been increasing numbers of inaccessible areas in parts of the country where enumerators are not able to go in for data collection. “

    The Statistician-General of the Federation listed some of the strategies that could be adopted in addressing these security challenges. by acknowledge this as a serious issue and look for ways to address it, and in doing so, adopted the use of technology. We established a Call Centre at the headquarters through which we now conduct phone surveys. Using this platform, “we are able to collect data in inaccessible and hard-to-reach areas when necessary. This was extremely useful during the covid-19 lockdown and has been used to collect very important household data that was applied in the planning and design of household interventions and support during the height of the pandemic.” He said.

    Added that, using technology to mitigate the effects of insecurity, includes remote data monitoring for quality assurance. Using digital Enumeration Area (EA) Maps with GPS coordinates, we are able to monitor the movement of field staff within the selected EAs and review their submissions while they are still in the EAs. This has significantly reduced the need for physical monitoring from Officers at the headquarters. Though the Officers still go out on physical monitoring, with this system in place, less physical monitoring days are required, and the entire fieldwork period can be observed remotely, while ensuring quality of the returns from the field.

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