Statistician advocates single statistical system

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LAGOS, SEPTEMBER 11, 2017 – Prof. Sidney Onyeagu, the President of Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), has called for one statistical system for the production of demographic data in the country.

Onyeagu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that the National Population Commission should be merged with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to make it one vibrant statistical system.

He said that a vibrant statistical system would efficient in the production of demographic data.

“South Africa Statistical System is an example of a single system in the continent, I think Nigeria should adopt that system.’’

Onyeagu also expressed dismay over the trend in where non-statisticians were appointed to be Statisticians-General and also employed to carry out statistical surveys.

He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Chartered Institute of Statisticians of Nigeria (CISON) Bill to law to check the trend.

The bill has been passed by the National Assembly for more than two years, but it has not been signed by the President.

He said that the association would transit from NSA to CISON, once the bill received the endorsement of the president.

“We want the government to pass the CISON bill, once it is passed every data collection, anything data, will be done by statisticians.

“The work of statistician cannot be done by any other person.

“If non-statisticians are deployed to do surveys, that data may not be accurate. You can have figure, but those figures may not be facts.

“We are looking for figures that are facts. Once you are trained as statistician, once you go for that training, you will understand everything you need to do on field.’’

He said that once that was achieved, it would help to reposition the statistical system and make it to be like that of advance countries.

The official described situation whereby a politician would hijack the work of a statistician as corruption.

“This is pure corruption and if you put the right people in the right places, things will move on,’’ he said.

Commenting on the just concluded International Statistical Conference organised by NSA, Onyeagu thanked the Lagos State Government for hosting the conference.

The three-day maiden edition of International Statistical Conference was the first of its kind since the association was established over 40 year ago.

He also thanked invited guests, the international community and the galaxy of professional statisticians for finding time to grace the ceremony.

He said he was optimistic that statistics and data production would be greatly positioned for data revolution and inclusive development given the complimentary role of the NSA.

The theme of the conference was “Positioning National Statistical Systems for Data Revolution and Inclusive Development.’’

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