Nigeria needs data harmonisation strategy – NBS official

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An official of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr Isiaka Olarewaju, has said that Nigeria would need harmonisation strategy on data gathering to achieve even development.

Olarewaju, a director in charge of the real sector and household statistics, NBS, made this disclosure in an interview with the Newsmen on Monday in Abuja.

The director said that the bureau had advanced in its mandate of gathering and processing data but still had a problem of getting data from relevant agencies.

“To the best of my knowledge, our problem is not handling big volume of data; It is about the harmonisation of the data gathered.

“For instance, NBS will not be able to release the social statistics bulletin except all agencies supplying the data release the data, as it applies to their own operations.

“If for instance, if we have to publish a statistical book for a particular year, every relevant statistical agency has its own input to give us the data for that particular reference period.

“If only one of them is defaulting, the data will not be released at the right time.

“So, we need to have a kind of harmonisation strategy, whereby at the press  of a button, you get relevant data from relevant agencies,’’ he said.

According to him, harmonisation of data collation and collection is the bane of repositioning data capturing.

He said that the bureau had been repositioned for data revolution and to handle big volume of data.

“We can handle big volume of data; we have even gone to the stage of using electronic means of collecting data from households.

“Already, right from the field, it is being transmitted online from the data collecting point to the national data processing centre, which does not take time to analyse,’’ the official said.

In addition, he said that the bureau had been carrying economic and social surveys, using the latest statistical methodology.

The official said that the bureau was currently working on some surveys such as Human Development Index and Labour Force Survey.

“Labour Force Survey is used to determine the unemployment rate and the distribution of employed persons.

“It is used to measure distribution of the employed so that the country can look at the gap and see which sector will demand intervention when it comes to employment opportunity.

“Then, we have just released data on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is done quarterly.

“We have not achieved 100 per cent of what we plan for the year but we are still in the process of executing some of the planned projects,’’ he said.

NBS is the authoritative source and custodian of official statistics in Nigeria with the responsibility of developing and managing official statistics.


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