The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has disclosed that it will break new ground in 2018, by conducting a National Agriculture Sample Census, NASC, and National Living Standard Survey, NLSS, to enhance sustainable planning.
The Chief Executive Officer and Statistician-General of NBS, Yemi Kale made this known in his keynote address delivered at the on-going 2-day National Consultative Committee on Statistics, NCCS, holding at Akwanga, Nassarawa.
In the text of the address made available in Abuja, Mr Kale said that the bureau would generate fascinating data in 2018 to boost economic development.
“Some of the exercises planned for this year include NLSS, which was last conducted in 2009, and the NASC, last conducted over 20 years ago.
“Plans for these exercises have been underway for the past two years, and we hope to finally roll out this year, starting with the pilot of NLSS in February, and NASC later down the year.
“The NLSS, when completed will provide updated poverty and consumption estimates for the country, as well as the inequality index.
“Among other things to come out of the NLSS exercise are useful inputs required to update the consumer expenditure basket that is issued in compiling the monthly prices index and quarterly national accounts estimates,’’ he said in the speech.
According to him, the NASC exercise is a comprehensive census of all agricultural activities covering peasant and corporate farms.
Mr Kale said the objective of the census was to collect data on the structure of agriculture in the country.
He said this would include levels of production, land use, inputs and other useful information within livestock, crops, fishery, and forestry activities.
He said “The result of this will ensure that government is provided with valuable information on the structure and realities in the agricultural sector.
“It will provide valuable information particularly as it seeks to develop the sector in line with its growth strategy as enshrined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP.
“Other planned activities for the year include the on-going review of the Statistical Act 2007, and work of Data Harmonisation.
“This is expected to culminate in the production of a coordinated data release strategy and calendar for Nigeria.’’
The statistician-general said the efforts were all in a bid to ensure that the country had a robust statistical system.
He stressed the need for stakeholders to be well- informed about the changes in data gathering and processing to avoid being irrelevant and obsolete.
“We must develop our individual and collective capacities, and always find new, more efficient and effective ways of working.
“As we approach the 2019 general elections, political activities and rhetorics will be ramped up as politicians and their supporters vie for attention.
“They will vie for attention and approval of voters and seek to score political points over their rivals and opponents.
“Data, more than was the case in the 2015 elections will play a critical role,’’ Kale said.
He, however, urged statisticians to maintain utmost professionalism and neutrality, saying“ please do not be tempted to produce data to suit any political leaning.
“We have all laboured immensely over the past few years to build a good name for the statistical system. So let’s be mindful of not tainting that name at the detriment of our country.
“We should all remember that we will all leave this system after our respective years of service, and it is important that we do not pass on a system with a stained name,’’ he said.
The National Consultative Committee on Statistics, NCCS, was established under the Statistics Act as one of the mechanisms for coordinating the statistics system to ensure harmonisation across statistical systems programmes.
It was established to avoid duplication of efforts as well as ensure uniform standards and methodologies among the various agencies with a view to improving the quality, comparability and timeliness of statistical input.