Without Data, Nigeria will Lack Policies to Address Socio-Economic Challenges - Yemi Kale


Monday, October 04, 2021 / 10:00 AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTVNG


Data remains a critical tool for supporting policies addressing socio-economic challenges like poverty and unemployment in Nigeria. Dr. Yemi Kale, the immediate past Statistician-General of the Federation and Director-General of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), made this point while expressing his views on "Data and Economic Development in Nigeria".


According to Kale, data spotlights sectors with high-performance standards and those that seem to be lagging. Policymakers, analysts, academicians, investors, professionals, and students can draw from data to make intelligent decisions


He said economies across the globe require data to plan effectively for economic development. Part of the challenge in Nigeria is that policies are designed without integrating data reports.


Kale noted that data helps reveal the economy's structure and highlights areas that could attract domestic or foreign investments.

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On the issue of strengthening institutions in Nigeria, he said public sector leaders should follow the mandate of their respective ministry, department or agency (MDA) to function effectively.


Speaking from his experience at the NBS, Dr. Kale stressed the need for government officials to concentrate on their jobs, block all distractions and avoid political interference.


He emphasized the need for more competent people to be appointed to manage public institutions, bringing productivity and improved performance for MDAs in the country.


The longest-serving Statistician-General in Nigeria's history called for more private sector participation in the public sector, which could drive innovation, dynamism, creativity and pragmatism in governance.


"From my experience at the NBS, it is possible for members of the private sector to take up key positions in public service and perform with distinction. We need more of this to move the nation forward", Kale added.


Reflecting on Nigeria's 61st independence anniversary as a nation, he highlighted three critical sectors as Nigeria's economic drivers: agri-business, manufacturing, and services.


Dr. Kale singled out the services sector as Nigeria's competitive advantage, which needs effective policies to unlock its potential and create more economic opportunities.

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