NBS to produce data using Artificial Intelligence

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By Okeoghene Akubuike

The National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) says it plans to produce crowd-sourced data on food prices using Artificial Intelligence.

Prince Adeyemi Adeniran, the Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, NBS, said this at the 1st Bi-Annual Meeting of the National Consultative Committee on Statistics(NCCS),2024 in Keffi on Tuesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the three-day meeting has the theme “Understanding Big Data and Data Science: A New Perspective to Data Analysis and Dissemination.”

“Before the end of the year, we will commence the process of producing and publishing weekly crowd-sourced data on food prices using artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing methods for six pilot states in Nigeria.

“This will serve as an additional source of food price statistics to the conventional monthly Consumer Price Index(CPI) and Cost of Healthy Diet reports published by NBS,” he said.

Adeniran commended the Statistician-General of Kaduna State and the Kaduna State Bureau of Statistics for their stride in adopting big data and data science.

“I understand that they already have a Data Science Campus which is already operational.

“This serves as a veritable model for other State Statistical Bureaus or agencies, even as you work hard to develop your conventional statistical operations in your respective states,” he said.

He said the NBS would continue to guide and lead by ensuring the necessary framework for utilising technology to explore the full potential of big data and data science for official statistics.

Adeniran said the NBS was collaborating with the Office of National Statistics in the UK and the African Development Bank(AfDB) to establish Data Innovation Lab and the GIS Lab.

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“All these efforts align perfectly with the vision of the NBS and with our aspirations under the new National Strategy for the Development of Statistics( NSDS) 2024 – 2028.

“The NSDS 2024-2028 was validated in April by stakeholders of the system which is to build a robust national statistical system.

“A system well equipped to provide more accurate data and respond to the ever-evolving socioeconomic and data landscape.

“By embracing these initiatives, we are laying a solid foundation for a more resilient statistical system that can effectively meet the dynamic needs of our society and drive informed decision-making across all sectors,” he said.

He said the benefits and potential of big data and data science were limitless, saying however, that harnessing them came with some sets of challenges.

“First, we must invest heavily and sustainably in the necessary infrastructure to effectively collect, store, manage, analyse, and disseminate this vast amount of information available within the system.

“We must also develop a statistical system that is awash with personnel skilled in data science, statistics, and data engineering, and this should be done sustainably and efficiently, across all levels of federal, state, and local government.

“Furthermore, we must ensure responsible data governance that addresses privacy concerns, ethical considerations, and data security, particularly for personal details contained in these records.

The NBS boss said the committee needed to also go further and begin to champion data literacy by raising public awareness about the importance of data in a data-driven world,” he said.
He added:

“This will be done by engaging more with our users and other actors within the expanded statistical system.

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“By embracing big data and data science, we can unlock a new perspective for data analysis, and dissemination in Nigeria.

“This will, in turn, affect the way and manner in which policy-making is done for the good of our citizens.” (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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