• Launches survey to measure poverty, inequality index
James Emejo and Udora Orizu in Abuja
The Statistician General of the Federation/Chief Executive, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale, Thurasday assured that the days when agencies of government published poor statistical “figures and get away without questions being asked” were gone.
He said the public has become better enlightened as “they question and interrogate every figure or information we publish.”
Speaking at the opening of the sensitisation workshop for the conduct of the 2018/19 National Living Standard Survey (NLSS), which held in Keffi, Nasarrawa State, he harped on the need for quality data representation going forward.
He said: “As Statistician General of the Federation, I can easily estimate that I spend about fifty per cent of my working day, and sometimes weekends, explaining and defending numbers or information that we publish in NBS.
“People now want to know where we got the numbers, how we got the numbers and what the numbers mean for them as individuals, businesses or for their communities.
“While we welcome this new enthusiasm and public engagement in statistics, we also have no alternative but to do all in our powers to get the best quality numbers possible.”
He said the NLSS had become critical in view of all the visible socio-economic challenges being experienced in the country particularly security, unemployment and environmental constraints.
He said government and partners at various levels require the household survey “to help them understand what is going on, particularly how these challenges are affecting households and communities in the country.”
“If we ever needed to generate reliable and good quality information, that time is now.”
According to the SGF, the survey which determines poverty index, was critical not just for the statistical system but also the country in general.
Kale said: “Amongst the plethora of socio-economic variables and indicators it provides, it is from this exercise that we derive statistically sound indicators for measuring poverty and inequality in Nigeria.
“It also serves as a major source of data for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for tracking Nigeria’s attainment or otherwise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
However, he said the NLSS, will for the first time be carried out using electronic means of data collection.
Also, the daily calorie threshold used in computing the poverty rate had been dropped to 2,500 from the previous 3,000 calories per day in the current exercise.