President Muhammadu Buhari has said that statistics being used by the World Bank, the International Monitory Fund (IMF) and other international institutions to assess Nigeria’s economy are not dependable.
Concise News reports that, to this end, the Nigerian leader has asked his newly formed economic team to focus on primary data collection to enable proper planning and assessment.
The president inaugurated his eight-member Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), led by Professor Doyin Salami, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Wednesday.
“Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies,” Buhari said.
“Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground.
“This is disturbing as it implies that we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country. We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data.
“As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection.
“We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As you are aware, as a government, we prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to our rural communities.
“Our programmes covered the entire agricultural value chain from seed to fertiliser to grains and ultimately, our dishes. As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programs and assure their sustainability.
“As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programmes and assure their sustainability.”
The Nigerian leader also said that “Another area where we are struggling to measure impact is in our social investment programs. Last week, I directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to commence a comprehensive data gathering exercise in our IDP camps in the North East.
“Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the Northeast. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact.
“In 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.
“Therefore, actionable data is critical to implement effective strategies to address pressing problems such as these humanitarian issues.
“I, therefore, look forward to receiving your baseline study as this will help us shape ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future.”
President Buhari had constituted the PEAC on 16 September, after dissolving the Economic Management Team (EMT).
Other members of the PEAC are: Mohammed Sagagi, Ode Ojowu, Shehu Yahaya, Iyabo Masha, Chukwuma Soludo, Bismark Rewane and Mohammed Adaya Salisu.