Govts. usage of varied socio-economic statistics critical to achieving SDGs — NBS

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says adoption and usage of its varied socio-economic statistics by government at all levels will assist the country meet targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Kabiru Nakaura, the Chairman, NBS Governing Board said this at the opening of a two-day meeting of the National Consultative Committee on Statistics (NCCS) in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

Nakaura commended the commitment of members of the committee in pursuant of the NCCS mandate.

He said the meeting was quite desirable considering the need for a sustainable statistical development in the country.

Nakaura said that the importance of the committee which was inaugurated by the Federal Government in 2017, in the development of the country’s statistical system could not be underscored.

Nakaura noted that the world was in an era where statistics and information technology made planning much easier from the sub national to the national level of government.

This, he said, was the reason the NBS was determined to ensure a holistic transformation in the country’s statistical system.

According to her, the NBS places high premium on the installation of basic infrastructure that will enhance the production of reliable, accurate and timely statistical information for the formulation of policies and execution, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes.

He added that on its part, the NBS had put in place numerous statistical programmes aimed at supporting government’s policy direction.

“There is no doubt that the statistical system in Nigeria has the responsibility of addressing the statistical requirements of the SDGs.

“This informed why the NBS in collaboration with the Office of Special Assistant to the President on SDGs has developed SDGs Data Bond,’’ he said.

He explained that the bond was to commit relevant stakeholders within the country’s statistical system into providing the datasets expected of them.

Nakaura thanked the Federal Government for the partnership with development partners which had resulted in deepening the development of statistics in the country.

He said the NBS would reciprocate the gesture by ensuring sustained production of quality and robust statistics for the country.

NAN also reports that State Statisticians-General at the meeting signed a bond to commit to ensuring quality statistics across the country.

Alhaji Usman Liman who spoke on behalf of State Statisticians- General pledged loyalty to the NBS and called for capacity development for state statisticians to improve their operations.

He also stressed the need for an effective synergy between the NBS and state statisticians, saying that developing the national level without taking states into consideration was antithetical.

It is also expected to facilitate the usage and application of uniform standards, methodology, definition, concepts and organisation structure in the production of comparable, reliable, consistent and non- conflicting statistics.

Edited & Vetted By: Martins Odeh
(NAN)

Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has urged Nigeria’s west coast neighbour, Benin Republic, to change its ways for a harmonious bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Obasanjo made the remark during a news briefing on Tuesday in Addis Ababa on the margins of Policy Dialogue of African Business Associations on Implementing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreements.

The two-day policy dialogue was co-organized by the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Export – Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK).

Other co-organisers are The AfroChampion Initiative and the Coalition of Dialogue Africa (CoDA).

Obasanjo, who is the Chair of the CoDA Board of Directors, explained that Benin’s notoriety was not new, as Nigeria had for long been enduring the practice which undermined its economic well being.

“It happened when I was President of Nigeria. I called the then Benin President, Nicephore Dieudonne Soglo, to let us meet at any of our border posts over the issue.

“We eventually met at Badagry (in Nigeria), where we agreed that Nigerian Customs would be stationed in Benin.

“They (the Nigerian Customs) are still there. We don’t have issues with goods manufactured in Benin — they are welcome.

“But as long as Benin allow dumping of goods, there will always be problem with Nigeria,” Obasanjo said.

He noted that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was not created to allow one country to turn itself to a dumping ground.

On AfCFTA, Obasanjo said that the execution of the agreements was crucial to its success and sustainability.

“The intense support AfCFTA has received from various member states is a clear indication of its importance.

“CoDA is highly engaged to seeking success of AfCFTA and other multilateral agreements. CoDA work is informed and guided by the notion that no one has monopoly of ideas,” he said.

He urged for more actions, beyond words, adding that with fragmented 55 markets, Africa would remain small player in global market place.

In his welcome address, AU Commissioner, Department of Trade and Industry, Mr Albert Muranga, called for a change of attitude on the continent if the goals of AfCFTA was to be attained.

“A new mindset is necessary. One country should not be going west and the other going east. All of us should be going in one direction.

“For AfCFTA and our dreams of African integration to meet with success, it requires cooperation from all stakeholders,” he said.

Muranga also restated the fears as espoused by members of the organised private sector on the dangers ahead of AfCFTA, assuring that such fears also enjoy the attention of the framers of the AfCFTA initiaive.

According to him, such fears include stability, predictability, fairness, corruption and enabling environment.

Other participants included the Co-chair of the Executive Committee, AfroChampion Initiative, Dr Edem Adzogenu, and Chief Economist/Director, Research and International Cooperation, AFREXIMBANK, Dr Hippolyte Fofack.

Also present were the Director General of Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Amb. Ayo Olukanni, and AfDB Country Manager, Ethiopia, Dr Abdul Kamara, among others.

Edited & Vetted By: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

This content was originally published here.

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