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)