W’Bank: Quality Statistics Critical for Nigeria’s Development.

The World Bank Country Director, Ms. Marie-Francoise Marie-Nelly, Wednesday said there would be no meaningful development or evaluation of national strategies without quality statistics to identify socio-economic challenges.
Speaking in Abuja at the opening of a two-day National Statistical User Satisfaction End-line workshop, which was organised by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with its development partners, she stressed the importance of strong statistical systems to enhance the country’s ability to control and monitor its development.
Represented at the occasion by Mr. Alain Gaugris, the Country Director said the multilateral institution was committed to supporting statistical development in the country.
She noted that the Statistics for Result Facility (SRF), which is being managed by the Bank, was meant to improve the legal and institutional framework of the Nigerian Statistical system at the national and sub-national levels.
She added that the workshop was imperative in order to sustain the dialogue between users and producers of statistics with a view to better meet the demand for official statistics.
However, Statistician-General, NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale, said the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) being implemented by government was targeted at transforming the Nigerian statistical system for effective and efficient service delivery.
Kale said survey had shown marked improvement in the usage of official statistics, noting that baseline figures for relevance of the usage of official statistics had climbed to 97.1 per cent from 90.91 per cent, while the use of official statistics for economic and social information had also risen to 83.3 per cent from 78.1 per cent.
Represented by the Director, Real Sector and Household Department, NBS, Mr. George Oparaku, the NBS boss further emphasised the need for all stakeholders to support the implementation of the NSDS in order to provide the country with comprehensive, timely and reliable statistics.
He said the pilot phase of the NSDS/SRF project would effectively terminate by end of February, 2014, while negotiations were at advanced stage for a successor project that would commence immediately.
The pilot phase currently covers Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Kaduna, Niger and Ondo states while the second is expected to cover all the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as ministries, departments and agencies of government (MDAs).