Simon Harry, Nigeria’s statistician-general has died
Harry

Mr. Simon Harry, the Statistician-General of the Federation, has disclosed that processes are ongoing to rebase Nigeria’s consumer price index (CPI), which measures inflation rate by the end of 2022.

He disclosed this yesterday in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, while briefing journalists on the sidelines of a two-day retreat for the Governing Board and Management of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to him, the statistical processes were already ongoing for the rebasing of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures the size of economic activities in 2023.

“Certainly, there are processes involved for both macro-economic indicators, and without us accomplishing those processes, there is no way that rebasing can be done fully,” he said.

“For the GDP, which measures the performance of the economy, there are certain statistical activities that will have to be carried out.”

He said the National Business Sample Census (NBSC), which would determine the structure and dynamics of businesses in Nigeria had been done.

He added that the process for the National Agricultural Sample Census (NASC), which determines the status of growth of the agricultural sector, one of the major sectors driving the GDP, has begun.

Harry said further: “We are currently conducting the pilot, the main fieldwork will be commencing in April, and so that is a very important activity.

“The other important statistical activity that we will be carrying out is the Nigerian Living Standard Survey (NLSS), because we want the base year to be very current and so we do not want to use the 2018-2019 NLSS.

“This year, we are conducting a fresh NLSS and preparations have already commenced so that by June or July, we shall be going to the field hoping that the result will be out by November of this year.

“So, until all these activities are completed, one for the CPI, as we need the NLSS for us to be able to form a strong benchmark for rebasing, the same also for the GDP, we are looking at the end of the year for the CPI.

“But for the GDP, we are looking at principally 2023, to rebase it fully when all these activities would have been fully completed and the results out.”

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that rebasing of GDP entails the replacement of the old base year used for compiling the GDP with a new, more recent base year for computing the constant price estimates.

Certainly, there are processes involved for both macro-economic indicators and without us accomplishing those processes, there is no way that rebasing can be done fully.

On the retreat, Harry said it was basically to work out modalities for better work efficiency.

He said the NBS had come up with a four-year Corporate Strategy 2022 to 2025, which aligns with the National Development Plan (NDP).

According to him, the strategy is structured into seven priority areas – institutional and organisational development; infrastructure and human resource management; data production, which is the core mandate of the Bureau; statistical advocacy; information technology; and data dissemination.

“The belief is that if all these priority areas are well-implemented and meticulously organised, certainly, we will be able to take not just the Bureau but the entire statistical system in Nigeria to a loftier height and that is our target.”

The President, Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), Godday Ebuh, said the place of statistics in NDP could not be overemphasised, as effective service delivery is dependent on efficient, effective and reliable statistics.

He said firstly, statistics is all about organising, gathering and planning for effective decision making.

“Now, if you are talking about national development, the key indices or the key indicators are all about statistics.

“So what are we planning, what are we going to achieve, so it is garbage in garbage out.

“Therefore, for an effective national development plan of any nation, efficient, reliable and good statistics is needed.”

Ebuh also said all hands must be on deck to achieve the NDP set goals and pledged the Association’s support in that regard.

The Chairman, Governing Board of NBS, Kabiru Nakaura, said in achieving the NDP in the next five years, emphasis must be placed on data and statistical gathering and dissemination, as that was the only way to achieve results.

According to him, no nation can develop without accurate data. “Our own responsibility is to supply the data to the government so it determines where it gets the resources, where to spend the resources and do things right.”

The Federal Commissioner representing Enugu State at the National Population Commission (NPC), Ejike Ezeh, said both agencies were into data generation.

According to him, synergy is necessary for both agencies to establish comprehensive data for national development.

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