Inflation: statistician urges FG to measure quality of life

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ABUJA, JULY 18, 2017 – A statistician, Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, has advised the Federal Government to focus on surveys that will measure the quality of life of Nigerians for proper planning and economic development.

Olubusoye, a Lecturer at the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

Olubusoye, also the second Vice-President, Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) said that the present 16.10 per cent inflation rate did not reflect the well-being and happiness of Nigerians.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its latest report said that the country’s inflation as measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI) further dropped to 16.10 per cent in June from 16.25 per cent in May.

According to NBS, this is the fifth consecutive decline in the rate of inflation since January.

Olubusoye said that it was painful that these figures do not tell anything about the well-being and happiness of Nigerians.

“As a statistician and econometrician, I know how important it is to measure price changes in an economy.

“However, there are other things more important for NBS or rather the government to measure if the focus is to improve the quality of life of Nigerians.

“Is life getting better in Nigeria? How many jobs are being created (not unemployment rate)? are Nigerians getting access to quality health services?

“Are Nigerians getting access to good quality education at all levels? are Nigerians getting access to efficient transport services?

“Is the number of hours of uninterrupted power supply (not generated) increasing in Nigeria?

“These and many more are what government should strive to measure not just CPI. Let the figures reflect the reality and obvious,’’ he said.

According to him, the so called decline in fifth consecutive periods is with respect to the rate at which CPI is increasing in the last five months.

The official, however, explained that two facts should be known while analysing the June CPI.

“CPI, the measure of aggregate price changes in an economy has been increasing in the last five periods, precisely from February to June.

“In another sense, NBS is saying that the aggregate price of goods and services in the Nigerian economy has been increasing in the last five months.

“Secondly, though the aggregate price has been increasing but the rate of increase has been declining.

“Better put, NBS says, aggregate price index for the economy has been rising at a reducing rate,’’ he said.

Olubusoye said that just imagine how a thirsty person rushed to drink but soon slows down the rush.

“Going by the figures, the rate of reduction in the rising CPI is small and insignificant.

“It is therefore, very unlikely that the ordinary man on the street will see and feel the impacts. It is inconsequential and of no effect,’’ he said. (NAN)

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