Rivers govt. says reliable data vital tool for economic development

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By Omuboye Sukubo

Port Harcourt, Oct. 7, 2020 Rivers government says statistical information is a vital ingredient for effective planning and implementation of government policies and programmes.

Mr Issac Kamalu, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning said this in his remarks at the opening ceremony of the training for enumerators for the conduct of National Business Sample Census in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

Kamalu, who was represented by Mrs Titilola Cline, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry said the state government believed in working with accurate data for smooth administration of governance, hence, its determination to produce accurate, timely and reliable data as guide for good governance.

He said that the major objective of the business census was to develop a national directory for commercial and business establishments.

He said the data to be generated would have features of associated social and economic characteristics that would provide the country with comprehensive and detailed information about the structure of the economy.

“To ensure the existence of robust and reliable statistics, we are determined to entrench a system that will eliminate the attitudes of falsifying information for self-interest as well as doing things without recourse to facts and figures.

“It is for this reason that the present government places high premium on statistical information as an ingredient for effective planning and implementation of its policies and programmes,” he said.

According to Kamalu, failure to make recourse to statistical information in the course of governance has retarded development in the past by making it difficult to determine where to provide essential services and in what quantity.

We shall therefore continue to provide the necessary support to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to enable it discharge its responsibilities of providing reliable socio-economic statistics for policy formulation, execution, monitoring and evaluation.

“I believe it was for this reason that the idea of conducting the National Census of Commercial and Industrial Businesses (NCCIB) was muted,” he said.

The commissioner congratulated NBS for its giant stride that had ensured sustained statistical development.

He challenged the participants to come up with feasible ways and means of improving the delivery of good statistical information for development.

“It is my expectations that the experiences we will share during this training workshop; the resolutions and agreements will help to a great extent strengthen the existing systems of statistical production in Nigeria,” he said.

NBS State officer in Rivers, Mr Benjamin Ofuru, disclosed no fewer than 120 selected persons would be trained as enumerators in the state.

Ofuru said the main objectives of the programme were to compile, frame, develop instruments and concepts, establish standards and methodology for industrial and business surveys in Nigeria.

He said that it was to serve as a benchmark for updates of subsequent commercial and industrial sector statistics.

“It will also develop a national directory of commercial and industrial business establishments with all their associated social and economic characteristics.

“And to provide the country with comprehensive and detailed information about the structure of the Nigerian economy,” he said.