As 2018 beckons, it is clear that we are unlikely
to see a slowdown in such demand, and I am pleased to affirm that NBS is ready,
willing and able to rise to the occasion again this year. No doubt, 2017 was a
remarkable year. A total of 198 reports were released, an increase of 85% over
With the country’s emergence from economic
recession in the second quarter came greater demand for data by policymakers
and business leaders seeking to identify how to sustain the recovery, implement
policies, prioritise programmes and ensure that the Nigerian economy gets on a
more sustainable path of inclusive growth.
Concerned citizens, eager to witness immediate
changes in their socio-economic circumstances, also paid closer attention to
statistical reports. As a result, the Second Quarter 2017 Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) Report ranked as one with the most downloads (relative to its
release date), followed by the National Survey on Corruption Perception, each
with over 5000 downloads within 120 days months of their release. My personal
engagement with a vastly diverse sample of our clients convinces me of the
growing appreciation for Nigeria’s official statistics. Yet, we can - and must
- do better.
In 2018, NBS is committed to surpassing these
milestones. As seen on our revised data release calendar, 176 reports are
already planned. As usual, they will be accompanied by clear, informative
infographic materials, and disseminated widely across all our social media
We remain committed to quality improvement across
all our service delivery channels, in order to continually justify our multiple
awards in 2017, which included Public Service Excellence Award (BusinessDay
Newspapers), Special Institution of the Year (Finance Correspondents
Association), Public Sector Institution of the Year (Lagos Chamber of Commerce
& Industry), Public Sector Star Website Award (Nigeria Internet
Registration Association), SERVICOM Commendation, and the Federal Government’s
National Productivity Order of Merit Award.
It is our desire to earn each day the trust,
respect and confidence that has been accorded the Bureau’s work, despite
pressing resource constraints. As ever, the Bureau will remain steadfast in
guarding its professional and operational independence granted by the
Statistics Act (2007), especially as the political climate builds up.
Every effort will be made to provide adequate
explanations and context for data releases, and prioritise statistical advocacy
efforts to limit, as much as practicable, the misuse of data. We acknowledge
the support of our government and institutional partners towards improving the
availability and quality of official statistics, and hope that 2018 will be a
year of better statistical funding, both at the federal level and to State
Statistical Agencies (SSAs).
The importance of statistical data for identifying
development priorities and shaping public policy should not be subject to
vagaries of the socio-economic or political climate. Rather, leaders must
continually emphasise and utilise evidence-based approaches, whether in policy
If this is not done, it becomes impossible to
objectively identify key areas in our society that actually require change, or
accurately determine what policy prescriptions will best respond to the real
needs of the country, or take advantage of the next big business opportunity in
this resilient economy.
We are confident that the year will bring numerous
opportunities for us to effectively support policymakers and look forward to
another fulfilling year for us at the Bureau, our partners and data users.