By Folasade Akpan
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has produced over 120 different statistical reports with over 1000 indicators in 2020 in spite of COVID-19 disruptions.
Mr Yemi Kale, the Statistician-General of the Federation, disclosed this on Monday in Akwanga, Nasarawa state at the annual meeting of the National Consultative Committee on Statistics (NCCS).
Kale added that the organisation logged over 800,000 visits to its website and recorded over 170,000 downloads for the published reports.
According to him, it was a testament that there was increasing demand and appetite for data and the NBS was capable of meeting the demands in spite of the prevailing circumstances.
He also said that the bureau initiated and deployed the Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) device which was adopted to conduct important surveys.
The device was used to conduct the Labour Force Survey (LFS) under COVID-19 for the second quarter of 2020 and the various Nigeria Longitudinal Phone Survey (NLPS).
Kale, however, said that the statisticial system was compounded by restricted vehicular movements and limited face to face communication.
“It also calls on us to be more adaptable, innovative and enterprising and more willing to explore beyond our comfort zones.
“More specifically, tackling these challenges require a better understanding of the emerging data ecosystem, the role of the statistical system in this changing data ecosystem as well as the need to have a robust and responsive system.
“This brings us to the need for continued investment in data and statistical production by the relevant stakeholders to ensure that our statistical institutions remain relevant, responsive and effective.”
According to Kale, in cases of public emergencies, the temptation to implement large scale interventions in a hurry, with little attention to data and statistics is always present.
Mr Kabiru Nakaura, Chairman, NBS Board, said it was important for states to fund their statistics offices and motivate the workers appropriately.
This, he said, was the only way states could have the right data needed for growth.
Mr Babale Amani, Director-General, Kano state Bureau of Statistics, said capacity building was important for the states to produce data needed for growth.
He, however, appealed to the NBS to help build capacity in data production at the state level in areas such as Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
This, he said, would enable states come up with the relevant data needed for their economic growth.
The NCCS is an important component of the coordination mechanisms stipulated in the Statistics Act, 2007, with the mandate to review the statistical programmes that have been carried out throughout the year.
It will also receive updates from members of the National Statistical System (NSS) and harmonise the statistical programmes of the NSS.