Kale: Government Ignored Early Warnings on Impending Recession 

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.FG vows support for accurate data generation 
By James Emejo in Abuja
The Statistician General of the Federation/Chief Executive, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale friday said previous administrations ignored several warning signals of a looming recession and paid little regard to statistical projections.
He also said past governments’ non-challant attitude to statistics contributed largely to present economic woes.
Speaking at the grand finale of the African Statistics Day in Abuja, he noted that data had long indicated that perilous times were approaching if nothing was done to redress the prevailing situation at the time.
But the authorities then refused to pay attention, Kale said, stressing that it was clear since 2014 that the economy was heading for full recession, and nothing was done about it.
Nevertheless, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma also stressed the importance of accurate statistical data in effective planning and development and urged close collaboration between users of statistics and producers of statistical information to enable the attainment of desired results.
He said the use of data should form an essential element in Government’s decision-making process as timely statistical information is expected to provide the basis for decision making in the governance of the country.
Udoma who delivered a keynote address, tasked statisticians to come up with appropriate and improved methods of data production in the country including the application of modern ICT tools.
He said the Buhari administration was committed to steady economic growth and sustainable development which is why it places deliberate emphasis on accurate data collection, analysis and projections.
The minister said: “Let me tell you why the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is important to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and in deed to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Reason is this: in order to get Nigeria out of the economic situation we inherited, we need to plan. In order to plan, we need statistics. So statistics are very important.
“You cannot plan without accurate statistics and that is why we support accurate statistics and that is why we support the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to produce accurate statistics on which we can plan. After planning, you have to implement”.
The Minister said the 2016 celebration, themed: “Strengthening economic statistics for regional integration, structural transformation and sustainable development”, was in line with an aspect of the vision of the present government, which is devoted to raising awareness on the importance of reliable statistical production processes and usage for evidence-based policy decisions.
He noted with satisfaction that the NBS in collaboration with other data producing agencies in the country is already putting in place necessary infrastructure that would facilitate the production of basic statistical information capable of meeting the expectations of the nation under the present democratic dispensation.
He said: “As you are already aware, economic statistics and national accounts data provide 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.”