The newly appointed Director General of the Imo State Bureau of Statistics (SBS),Enyinnaya Amadikwa, has reaffirmed the commitment of the state governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha ,towards a speedy rehabilitation of the long abandoned agency.
He said the agency would be transformed it into a world class body that would meet the statistical data needs of the state and that of other national and international establishments.
Amadikwa gave this commitment during first interactive session with the staff of the Bureau in Owerri, Imo State capital. Assuring of government’s commitment towards the urgent rehabilitation of the agency which would act as the main source of data and other statistical information that would support government’s concerted effort towards the rebuilding of the state, he revealed his plans to “reform the agency into a full IT driven bureau that would provide timely, complete, accurate and reliable statistical data that is critical for creating and sustaining an environment which fosters strong, equitable development.”
“This is an essential ingredient for formulation of sound economic development policies, by which the decision making and development plans of the government becomes concentric,” he noted.
The Bureau set up by the Imo State Statistical Law 2010 was very active with the collation, compilation, analysis, storage, publication and dissemination of other information until it was abandoned by the last administration of Owele Rochas Okorocha.
Speaking during an interactive session, the immediate past Statistician General, Mr. Maduabuchi Ikeh, attributed the abandonment and level of decay in the Bureau to what he described as the former governor’s “evasiveness to data, anti-statistics and retrogressive nature.”
“In spite of all that we did to uphold the ideals of statistical practice in the state, we met stumbling blocks and hiccups from the former governor. In the last five years, there has been no imprest to this bureau -I have been running the office from my salary.
The state Bureau of Statistics is supposed to make statistical data available to the governor, but we found ourselves in a situation where we were dealing with a governor who was anti-data and statistics and would do whatever he wanted, and has other means of conjuring figures.
“At times, the Bureau is not even brought into the main stream of political and economic developments in the state. We had a situation where we have over 145 staff on our payroll receiving salaries for doing nothing. It was a very unfortunate situation,” the outgoing Statistician General stated.