Statistician-General Slams Nigerians’ Doubt In NBS Data

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Adeyemi Adeniran said multilateral institutions including World Bank rely on the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), frowning at Nigerians for doubting the agency’s reports.
His words, “Some persons will not believe anything published by NBS simply because it’s a government institution, however, when the same thing is published by the IMF or the World Bank, or any other development partner, they accept it without question, forgetting completely, that those same development partners rely on us fully to produce those indicators”.
“So, as can be clearly seen, we are in a sensitive position. I guess this is the same for the media in many respects. Some sections of the public will only believe a news item or story if it came from a foreign media outlet, as opposed to a local outlet. Consequently, given this prevailing phenomenon, we have to work hard to rebuild this trust in the public”.
“It also means, being transparent and opening up our processes to the public, within the limits of what is practically possible, for them to see and understand the workings of our systems. In doing so, we can begin to rebuild this confidence and get more of the public on our side, as we continue to fulfill our mandate of accurately and adequately informing the public”.
Adeniran spoke at a 3-day retreat organised by the Bureau for journalists and civil society organisations, in Keffi, Nasarawa State on Wednesday.
According to him, some sections of the public will only believe a news item or story if it came from a foreign media outlet, as opposed to a local outlet, adding that “Consequently, given this prevailing phenomenon, we have to work hard to rebuild this trust in the public”.
The Statistician General disclosed a survey of NBS on sources through which Nigerians get news showed that 79 percent get their news through social media and 31 percent via print media.
According to him, the survey which was conducted in June 2022 comprising  Nigerians of between the ages of 18 – 50 years revealed that  61 percent from  TV, 79 percent – and 95 percent from online platforms.
Speaking on the importance of information especially as it relates to data releases, Prince Adeniran said, “with this population demography being the most politically and economically active, and numerically significant, the information they get at any point in time is very important, given the potential impact it can have on the whole nation”.
He also noted that considering the vast reach of the top two platforms through which they get their news, and the speed at which news items travel through those platforms, it becomes more important that the veracity and authenticity of the reportage are not in doubt.
“Statistics, without exaggeration, are part of the fabric of the present-day world. They are a pervasive feature of daily life, shaping the way we think and behave, in ways that many of us no longer realise. Almost every key aspect of modern life – the quality of the air we breathe, the severity of a medical condition, the performance record of our businesses, the price of assets we own, the health of the economy in which we operate, the national leader we want to vote, so on and so forth – are statistically measured in one way or another.
“Thus, there is no question as to whether the media and civil society should work with the statistical system, but more about, how we can strengthen our working relationship, and enhance it for better effectiveness and results. I believe that is exactly what this retreat is designed to achieve over the next few days”, he said.
He said the retreat was imperative,” as it provides an opportunity for us as the custodian of official statistics, you the media, and civil society organisations, to engage with one another as partners in progress, with the aim of understanding ourselves better and finding ways in which our collaboration can be enhanced for our mutual benefit”.

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In his welcome address, Director of Communications and Public Relations, Mr. Joel Sunday Ichedi said the NBS organised the retreat to bring journalists and civil society organisations, the Management of the Bureau, and experts together to discuss issues arising from statistical reporting in Nigeria with the aim of avoiding mistakes in the reporting of Statistical data covering all facets of Nigeria’s development to the public.
“This is important given the fact that Statistics is used by both private and public sectors and individuals in decisionmaking. For a credible decision, the information disseminated in the form of data to the general public must be accurate to achieve data guided policy, planning, and implementation for national development”, he added.

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