The National Consultative Committee on Statistics (NCCS) has set a 10-point agenda for implementation by federal, states and local government authorities in order to improve data collection and utilization for development in the country.
The committee, which is the umbrella body for all agencies/stakeholders involved in Nigeria’s statistical system development, canvassed the key agenda, particularly the need for increased funding of statistical activities by all tiers of government, in the communiqué issued at the end of its 2-Day meeting concluded on Tuesday in Akwanga, Nasarawa State.
Specifically, the NCCS recommended that in view of the gross under-funding of statistical activities at all levels of government, federal, states and local governments should adequately fund statistical activities due to the importance of statistics to development, planning and decision making
The committee recommended that Planning, Research and Statistics Departments (in both National and Sub-national levels should be headed by Professional Statisticians while PRS Departments in MDAs and SBSs/SSAs should leverage on the capacity building training programme from the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) as canvassed by NBS in the NCCS meeting, 2020
Other recommendations contained in the communiqué issued at the end of the committee’s meeting are that NBS and SBSs/SSAs, as coordinator of National and State Statistical System respectively, should strengthen the collaboration between MDAs for effective data collection, harmonization and management of administrative statistics; States should mainstream Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators into the State Statistical Year book (SSYB); and the NBS should coordinate the review of the Statistical Year Book templates.
Similarly, the statistics experts agreed that all other producers and suppliers of statistics should mainstream SDGs in their sectoral data production; there should be equity involvement of SBSs/SSAs in Statistical surveys especially in the area of field personnel; federal and state governments should, as matter of priority, provide ICT and Statistical Infrastructure to MDAs and SBSs/SSAs as an obligation.
The NCCS also canvassed that the NBS, through Nigerian Governors’ Forum, should ensure that states that are yet to establish State Bureau of Statistics should do so.
Earlier during the paper discussion sessions, the meeting had observed that the issue of inadequate funding of Statistical activities in MDAs and State Bureaus of Statistics/State Statistical Agencies remained unabated; most of the of the Planning, Research and Statistics Departments (in both National and Sub-national levels are not headed by professionals.
Other observations by attendees at the meeting were that the training programme as canvassed in the collaboration between NBS and the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) was not being properly utilized for the capacity building of Statistics staff of PRS Departments in MDAs and SBSs/SSAs; and administrative data collection, harmonization and management at the State level is still a challenge due to weak collaboration between some MDAs and Federal Agencies existing within the States;
In addition, the meeting noted that states were yet to mainstream Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators into the State Statistical Year book; Statistical Year Book templates are obsolete and due for review and update there exist Inequity collaboration between NBS and SBSs/SSAs in Statistical surveys especially in the area of field personnel; there is Inadequate ICT and Statistical Infrastructure at sub-national Level and some Federal MDAs; there is lack of political will among leaders in implementing statistical activities in some states even as poor/shortage of qualified manpower remained a big challenge in carrying out of statistical activities nationwide.
The mandate of the NCCS based on the provisions of the Statistics Act 2007, is to coordinate, harmonize and standardize the processes of producing official statistics, among others in the country.
The NCCS annual meeting provides a forum where producers and users of official statistics deliberate on issues relating to the development of the National Statistical System (NSS).