Tribune Online – Breaking News in Nigeria Today
Professional statisticians in the country have expressed doubt about Nigeria going far in meeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals should the country continue to be confronted with problems of poor and unreliable data and statistics.
The President of the Professional Statistician Society of Nigeria(PSSN), Prof Ismail Shittu, gave this impression on Tuesday, in Lagos, at a sideline of the sixth International Conference of the society held at Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH).
He spoke on the theme of the three-day conference: “Statistics for sustainable development in the post-Covid-19 era.”
SDGs by the UN include and are not limited to a significant reduction in every country in 2030 in poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, access to clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, as well as affordable and decent housing, among others.
Speaking further, Prof Shittu said Nigeria, no doubt, lacks reliable, credible and acceptable data, the situation he said had continued to hinder genuine socio-economic and political progress of the country.
He said no country could in real-time, achieve and sustain meaningful development in any area of life, especially as regards SDGs as listed by the UN without having credible and reliable statistics for the decision and policymakers to work within both public and private sectors.
He said good economic planning across sectors, and population segments could only be effective when a country can boast of evidence-based statistics and data.
He said the issue of the country having credible and acceptable data and statistics in this post-covid-19 pandemic period when the whole world is battling with devastating effects of the pandemic on both human and material resources is the surest way that can effectively help countries like Nigeria to get out of the crisis.
He said, unfortunately, the Nigerian government particularly at the centre had not been patronising professional statisticians in the scheme of its policies and programmes.

He said it would be a move in the right direction if the government and its relevant agencies as well as corporate organisations and institutions invest hugely in statistical science and research and also collaborate with professional bodies such as PSSN to get to develop and sustain it.
In their separate remarks at the conference, the Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Prof Lawal Salako and the Rector of YABATECH who was the keynote speaker, Mr Femi Omokungbe, also emphasised the relevance of Nigeria having high-quality and credible data and statistics to achieve SDGs this post-Covid era.
They expressed optimism that the conference would certainly provide a platform to promote the economic, social, environmental and health dimensions of sustainable development that would help build an inclusive, effective path to achieving the goal agenda as specified by the UN.
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