The Nigerian Statistical Tragedy

Today its almost impossible for any researcher, student or even any organization or Institution in Nigeria to gain access to Statistics relevant to their study,  the only saviour one might find are Foreign research Institutions such as The IMF, World Bank, etc which have become more reliable than our own unlike other Developed nations of the world who know the importance of research and development and realise the essence of a  well collected and reliable Statistical system to attain even higher levels of development ; but who is to be  blamed ? if this doesn't spell doom to our very sovereignty as a nation i don't know what does.
According to African Development Bank Chief Economist Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa " the collection of national statistics... is of course key not only for national planning but also for investment decisions by the private sector" .The importance of efficient data management to any organization or nation cannot be overemphasized. Yet this single important feature has been recklessly subjected to abandon,mismanagement and hence the unavailability of a reliable central  data system has plagued  Nigeria like  other African countries.

Nigeria has over the years carried out various censuses important to note here is the first attempt , in mid-1962, which was canceled after much controversy and allegations of over counting in many areas. A second attempt in 1963, which  was officially accepted, was also  encumbered with charges of inaccuracy and manipulation for regional and local political purposes so also went those of 1973 ,1991, 2006 and other futile efforts to harness a reliable central data system for the country but unfortunately it  has been trailed by overvaluation, misappropriation of figures for political reasons to the detriment of our nation State, Lack of  capable hands and Infrastructure . Its a shame that one can confidently say that Nigeria does not have a comprehensive data on 50%  its citizens Maybe the Government does not realize how important this is to our development. Though Prof. Kiregyera argues that African data might not be all-encompassing but that what is available is of good and comparable quality with that in other developing regions of the world. That above all African data are far from being a tragedy. He believes, however, that the data revolution in Africa will be brought about by African countries themselves through dedicated capacity and institutional building. In his view the data revolution in Africa has taken root, but its sustainability will require a robust domestic debate.
I believe that Africa and Nigeria particularly must arise to see the impending Statistical tragedy that may befall us if we don't put our data collection and quality problems to order.
Indeed i believe that Nigeria's Statistical tragedy is that a nation that claims to aim to be the 20th largest economy in the world by  year 2020 is yet to realise the role that a well managed Statistical and research system plays in such a dream . 


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