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Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning has urged the users of statistics to effectively collaborate with the producers of statistical information to achieve desired results.

Udoma made the call at a forum organised by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to mark the 2016 African Statistics Day on Friday in Abuja.

The minister said the use of data should form an essential element in government’s decision-making process.

He said it should form government decision-making process as timely statistical information was expected to provide the basis for decision making in the governance of the country.

“Statistical information could equally serve as an important tool for championing the course of users in every sphere of endeavour.

“It is important to note that production of Statistics is not only time consuming, but time sensitive. For this reason, users of data should endeavour to assist NBS to provide accurate information.

“They should also assist other data producers of statistics to resolve the paradox by providing accurate information and responding promptly to all statistical enquiries/surveys,’’ the minister said.

Udoma, however, urged the forum to come up with suggestions to address various challenges in the Nigerian Statistical System.

“I hope the forum will provide the way forward to those challenges for better and effective statistical delivery, in the country.

“It is equally my sincere belief that the forum will come up with appropriate and improved method of data production in Nigeria including the application of modern ICT tools”, he said.

In his address, the Statistician-General, Dr Yemi Kale said the NBS had been collaborating with other data producing agencies to facilitate the production of basic statistical information.

Kale said that the forum would help to come up with ideas that would help to strengthen the development of statistics in Nigeria.

He said that economic statistics and national accounts data had provided a comprehensive assessment of the performance of a country’s economy over time.

“A strong national statistical system with good infrastructure for collection, processing, compilation, analysis, dissemination and archiving of all economic statistics, is vital to national development.

“The African Common Project on the implementation of the 2008 United Nations Systems of National Accounts (SNA) is making steady progress in assisting countries to improve their economic statistics.

“The SNA is an overarching coordinating framework for economic statistics in two important ways.

“SNA is a conceptual framework for ensuring the consistency of the definitions, standards and classifications used in official statistics; and it is an accounting framework to ensure the numerical consistency of data drawn from different sources”, the official said.

He, however, appreciated the contribution of the development partners for providing support for the development of statistics in the country.

Also speaking, Prof. Sidney Onyeagu, President of Nigerian Statistical Association said statistics were important in every day development process and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Onyeagu said the forum would deliberate on the importance of strengthen economic statistics and how it could promote structural transformation as well as promote sustainable development.

The theme of the celebration is “Strengthening Economic Statistics for Regional Integration, Structural Transformation and Sustainable Development’’.

The African Statistics Day Celebration is an offshoot of the meeting of Ministers responsible for planning in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia held in 1990.

The meeting set aside Nov.18, of every year as a special day for statistics and promoting awareness about the important role it plays in the development of the society.

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