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Statistician Advises FG On Training, ICT Policies

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A statistician, Mr Oladejo Ajayi has advised the Federal Government to effectively implement Statistics Act, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy to strengthen the statistical system.
Ajayi, who was the first Director-General of the then Federal Office of Statistics, gave the advice in an interview with The Tide soruce in Abuja, yesterday.
The statistician also stressed the need for training of officials in the system as it would go a long way in improving their job.
He said that effective implementation of the policies would also enhance administrative statistical system in the country.
“The policies are there, for instance, there is Statistics Act, which specifies clearly how the system should be coordinated.
“There is ICT policy in Nigeria; these are infrastructure required for putting data together for other sources.
“ Also, the technical understanding in terms of training is very important and this is the area the country needs to improve on,” he said.
Ajayi, also an international consultant on statistics said those in the data industry needed to be trained to be able to receive the shock of receiving data from different sources.
“There are policies and well defined programmes on statistics but implementation is usually the problem,” he emphasised.
The consultant, however, advised the government to reposition the National Statistical System for data revolution.
According to him, data revolution is changing the way of collecting data to make positive decision, in revolution something new comes up and replaces the old.
He said that the National Statistical System should be robust, pro-active and well-coordinated to accommodate data coming from other sources, “that is, talking about the age of big data”.
“We have a Federal System of Government and there are three tiers of government, Federal, State and Local government.
“If the statistical production systems at all these levels are not well coordinated, even for basic tradition data, how can we add all other sources of data which are really very big?
“Take for instance, the data that is going through telephones, internet and other means of communication.
“The country should be ready to handle all these when it looks at the technical issues and standardise various information required to go into production of big volume of data,” he said.
He further advised the private sector to support the efforts of government, saying“ one should not expect the Federal or State Government to do these things alone’’
Ajayi advised the country to take a cue from South Africa, adding that the country was ahead of Nigeria in data revolution, sharing and handing of big volume of data.
“I think there are a lot of lessons Nigeria can learn from South Africa as it has done in terms of using ICT for data gathering and processing.
“Although, the country is far ahead of Nigeria; the statistical system is also weak but they have ICT to back it up, that is covering some of the gaps,” Ajayi said. (NAN)

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Housing/Property

Ogun Seals Off Two Dilapidated Buildings …Marks 526 Others For Demolition

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The Ogun State Government has sealed off two dilapidated buildings in Abeokuta the state capital, and ordered occupants of the houses to move out within 24 hours.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Urban and Physical Planning, Mr Nafiu Adebiyi, told newsmen during an inspection tour at the weekend, that 526 other houses built on waterways, canal and erosion channels had been marked for demolition across the state.
Adebiyi said at the scene that the order became necessary to prevent loss of lives and other possible disaster which could arise from the partially collapsed buildings.
The two buildings were located along Nepa Road in Isabo area of the state capital.
“As a responsible government, we cannot continue to watch and allow the buildings to collapse totally while people still reside in them,” he said.
Adebiyi said that the government was only waiting for response from National Emergency Managment Agency (NEMA) which had promised to provide alternative shelters for the affected victims before demolition could be effected.
“Demolition of houses is not what can be done in a hurry, no matter how illegal such structures are.
“ In as much as human beings live in such houses, we must follow the rules in carrying out such demolitions,” he said. He affirmed that government’s intention was to ensure that nobody was negatively affected as a result of preventable natural disaster which was predicted by the National Metreological Agency (NIMET) earlier in the year.
“ It is not easy to dislocate people from their comfort zone. That is why we are approaching the process with human face.
“Moreso, many houses affected were not illegally located because as at the time most of them were built, those places were not close to water banks.
“It is the challenge of climate change that made the water levels to begin to rise, with resultant erosion.
“We are being carefull so that we don’t solve a problem by creating another one, “ he said.

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Housing/Property

NIPOST Buildings’ Remodelling: CBN To Engage Architects, Others

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Ahead of the proposed National Microfinance Bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is planning to engage architects for the remodeling of the Nigeria Postal Services (NIPOST) buildings needed for the project.
The Tide reports that the project is expected to throw up jobs for the nation’s real estate professionals, especially, architects, engineers, estate surveyors and builders.
New structures may also be built while the old facilities are expected to be reconstructed.
Sources hinted last week that the architects and other professionals needed for the projects will be hired by CBN from its pool of consultants, while the property arm of the Nigerian Postal Service is expected to involve their in-house officials in some aspects of the remodeling exercise.
Specifically, the buildings form the equity contribution of the postal system to the bank, which is expected to have an initial capital base of N5 billion. About 774 local councils have been penciled down for the project. The pilot phase will take off in six states and Abuja, namely Oyo, Rivers, Bauchi, Kaduna, Enugu and Kogi.
The design of the structure will include counters, strong rooms and offices for the banking operation.
The scheme is a mechanism,  which the apex bank hopes to drive financial inclusion of the people living in rural communities.  With locations in all the nooks and crannies of the country, NIPOST is providing accommodation for the establishment of the bank.
Confirming this development, CBN’s Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said  new structures would also be provided where there are none  to facilitate physical contacts where necessary.
Okorafor stressed that the remodeling would be done to ensure that the buildings meet the standards set by the CBN.
He noted that the essence was to improve financial inclusion and capture those in the rural villages leveraging  on the NIPOST’s presence in  the 774 local councils across the country to reach its target beneficiaries.
“Nigeria is large with many rural areas without banking experience , we want to  employ digital payment to reach this people  in the villages  and the best way to reach them  is to get institutions that have a footprints  like NIPOST  that spread throughout the  774 local councils.  So what the CBN and bankers committee has done is to register a company, a micro finance bank that  has footprints across 774 local councils . Wherever there is a physical building of NIPOST already, we will remodel it and use it, if there is none, we will use fabricated building”, he added.
A NIPOST official, Musa Suleiman,  an engineer, said  the agency  would do all the  major maintenance while the  CBN would remodel the areas allocated to it for the  banking services.

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Housing/Property

Stakeholder Laments CBN’s Removal Of Mortgage Interest Rate Cap

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A player in the real estate industry, Idaibi Fiberesima, has expressed worry over the impact the removal of mortgage interest rate cap by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) would have on housing delivery in the country.
Fiberesima, who is a member of the Nigeria Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, in a chat with The Tide, Monday in Port Harcourt, noted that the move would spell doom for the industry.
He stated that the CBN’s recent removal of the interest rate cap for Primary Mortgage Institution (PMI),would worsen the housing delivery problems rather than improve it.
He said the move could further increase interest rates charged by mortgage banks, which he explained was between 22 and 26 percent before the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC) started the refinancing of the Mortgage banks, noting however, that the interest rates came down to 17.5 percent for commercial mortgage institutions after the refinancing.
Fiberesima explained that the new provision which was issued in 2017 and became effective, September 9, 2019, indicates that interest rates and lending fees are now negotiable, which leaves the homeownership seeker at the mercy of PMIs depending on his negotiating power.
He added that the implication of the new policy is that interest rates would be determined by the risk profile of intending clients, saying, “high risk profile projects would attract high rates, while lower risk profile projects would attract lower rates or no deal at all’’.
The estate surveyor and valuer lamented that the mortgage system in Nigeria has not reduced to the housing deficit in the country, pointing out that the interest rate would be market driven and not sensitive to the housing challenge facing the average Nigerian worker.
He emphasised that the mortgage policy in the country did not encourage citizens to own their own homes, and pointed out that an interest rate of over 20 per cent and payment tenure of five years cannot be referred to as mortgage.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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