Courtesy visit to the Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget on Thursday 29th June, 2017
2017 NSA 1ST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE comes up on the 4th of September
2017 at University of Lagos (UNILAG),
Akoka, Lagos State, Nigeria.
Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, 2nd Vice President, Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) has advised the Federal Government to constitute a group of independent monitors and assessors to monitor implementation of the 2017 budget.
Olubusoye gave the advice while sharing his views on some burning national issues in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the government should come up with a group, consisting of experts from the relevant professional associations including NSA.
“An objective and independent budget monitoring group will promote transparency and provide the needed checks and balances in the budget implementation.’’
The official, however, commended the Federal Government for the signing of 2017 Appropriation Budget into law, adding that it was a big relief for Nigerians.
Olubusoye also urged the government to begin implementation of the budget in earnest in order to bring succour to the citizens.
“The most important thing is to hit the ground running as far as implementation is concerned.
“If the thrust of the budget will be achieved, then there must be constant monitoring, continuous evaluation and periodic reporting of progress made, challenges encountered and outstanding tasks,’’ he emphasised.
In addition, he urged the government to create jobs for unemployed Nigerians as it would go a long way in addressing the high level of unemployment in the country.
The latest unemployment reports released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that the country’s unemployment rate rose from 13.9 per cent in the third quarter to 14.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“The production of labour market statistics by NBS is a major positive development in Nigeria.
“The increase from 13.3 per cent to 14.2 per cent reported in the unemployment rate could easily be attributed to the fact that the unemployed population is increasing.
“It means the unemployed population (those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work but without work) is increasing faster than the labour force population.
“The only way to halt this phenomenon is to create more jobs for those who are within the working age population that are willing, able and actively looking for work.’’
The official said that the challenge before NBS was to put emphasis on the production of timely statistics on job creation and for the government to create enabling environment for job creation to thrive.
“How many jobs are created and how many are entering the labour force population monthly?
“Providing answer to these questions is the starting point to reducing unemployment rate in Nigeria,’’ he said.
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A statistician, Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, has advised the Federal Government to accompany the just inaugurated Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) with basic monitoring and evaluation kits.
Olubusoye, the second Vice-President, Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday.
The ERGP’s projected that Nigeria will make significant progress to achieve structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy in five key areas by 2020.
The key areas are stable macro-economic environment, agricultural transformation, food security, sufficiency in energy and improved transportation infrastructure.
He said that government should accompany the ERGP with basic monitoring and evaluation kits such as performance indicators, data collection framework and reporting schedule.
“A simple illustration to use is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global plans of action.
“Both of them were accompanied with achievable goals, quantifiable targets, performance indicators, data requirements and even reporting framework.
“For instance, MDGs had 21 quantifiable targets and 60 indicators for tracking progress on the agenda while the current SDGs has 17 goals and 232 performance indicators.
“So, the truth is that without practical indicators, goals remain purely aspirational and progress cannot be measured,” he said.
Similarly, the official said reliable and timely data were needed for systematic follow-up and progress reviews.
Olubusoye said that government should also look at the nature of the plan and review it.
According to him, the plan is macro-centric rather than micro-centric in nature.
“The plan emphasises more on economic aggregates, Gross Domestic Product, which hardly reflect the reality at the micro levels.
“Individual is concerned with how the plan will translate to improved quality of life, more food on the table, affordable housing, affordable and accessible health facilities.
“They are also looking at good water, safe and secured environment, quality education, basic infrastructure such as good roads, railway, among others.’’
He, however, said that it was not clear how many people the plan would cater for.
“By this, I mean the population figure used for the plan.
“Nowhere in the plan is reference made to the current population size but quick to project 289 million by year 2050.
“How realistic is the figure? Is the figure our own, or estimated, or ‘guesstimated’?
“How many people are covered in the first year of implementation? How many will be covered in the second year and up to 2020?
“What if the country is planning for more or for less people than it has now, Can such a plan be realistic?”
The official said that the fundamental question with regards to the plan was the way it differed from the previous development plans.
He said, “how is ERGP different from the previous plans such as the 1st – 4th National Development Plans, Structural Adjustment Programme, National Economic Empowerment And Development Strategy.
“The other question: Is it different in concept, scope, goals, monitoring, evaluation, performance indicators, reporting schedule etc?”
Olubusoye said that those were the important areas and gaps that the government needed to fill in the plan.
“The solution is to fill the missing gaps in the plan and the basic thing is also to use data appropriately.
“We don’t have regard for data in this country. How can you have good plan like this and you don’t have performance indicator?
“You don’t have framework for collecting data that will help you to monitor progress and yet you don’t have reporting framework. How will the government be reporting to Nigerians on progress made,’’ he said.
The Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) has appealed to the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to sign the Chartered Institute of Statisticians of Nigeria (CISON) Bill into law.
The 2nd Vice-President of NSA, Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, made the call in an interview with The Tide source in Abuja yesterday.
Olubusoye said that the association would transit from NSA to CISON, once the bill received the endorsement of the president.
‘‘CISON is a professional body just like ICAN that will regulate the work that statisticians should do, so they will also declare who is a statistician before one becomes a member.
“ICAN has series of examinations they conduct for their members before they become professionals similarly CISON will have.
“The association has started a legal process to have CISON so that members can practice with recognition and legal backing.
“The bill has been passed by the National Assembly for more than two years but up till now it has not been signed by the President.
“We are hoping that it will be signed soon and the association will now transit from mere association to an award body,’’ he said.
Olubusoye said that the acting president recently signed some bills into law, adding that CISON Bill was not among them.
He said that reasons were given for those bills that were not signed and that no reason was given for not signing the CISON Bill into law.
“Signing the Bill doesn’t have any financial implication for the government; it is something that is in practice globally.
“I am a Chartered Statistician of the Royale Statistical Society, London.
“In Nigeria, we should also have rules and regulation for professional body for statisticians to be able to practice just like medical profession; you have to practice under approved regulations,” the official said.
Meanwhile, in a document on CISON obtained from the NSA Secretariat, the CISON Bill has four parts.
It stated that Part One would be the Establishment of the Chartered Institute of Statisticians of Nigeria while Part Two of CISON would be on the Registrar and the Register.
“Part Three, Professional Discipline and Part Four would be General and Miscellaneous.
“The institute will determine what standards of knowledge and skill are to be gained by persons seeking to become members of the statistics profession.’’
The document further stated that the institute would have the duties to revise those standards from time to time as circumstances might permit.
“It will secure, in accordance with this bill, the establishment and maintenance of registers of fellows, associates and registered statisticians entitled to practice as statisticians.
“The institute will also publish, from time to time, lists of those persons in the categories,’’ it stated.
A statistician, Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, has advised the Federal Government to adopt administrative census, rather than the current decennial, to gauge the nation’s population for effective planning and development.
Olubusoye, the 2nd Vice-President, Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that decennial census was conducted every 10 years in most countries, but that Nigeria didn’t have any regular period for the exercise.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the last census in Nigeria was conducted in 2006.
“It tells a lot about the country’s regard for the use of data for policy making, planning and development purposes.
“We should be looking at alternative ways of conducting census, considering the challenges we have had in the past, but the truth is that most countries are moving away from decennial census.
“They are moving away from paper census that we use to do, where enumerators will move from household to capture information about individuals.’’
Olubusoye said that most countries, especially in Europe, had adopted administrative census.
“They now use existing information about the citizens and information that exists in administrative records.
“You will be surprised that everybody has information in one way or the other with one agency of government or the other,’’ he said.
According to him, administrative census has cost benefit over the decennial type as it will eliminate the manual way of conducting census.
Olubusoye added that administrative census only needed to harmonise existing data, saying, “For instance, data from BVN registration, voter registration, drivers’ licence, hospital records and National ID Card.
“You don’t need physical counting; most countries depend on those database, harmonise them and remove duplications, rather than waiting for 10 years.’’
He said that the cost of conducting physical counting was enormous, and that it was the reason why the country could not afford it.
“The logistic of implementing physical counting is huge – putting security in place, putting vehicles on the roads, engaging people and so on.
“If cost is the issue, let us go back to the database that we have and harmonise them, and we will get information to do basic planning.’’