On 4 April 2019, the Royal Statistical Society Nigeria Local Group held a meeting titled ‘Understanding the world through data’ at the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology. It was organised in collaboration with the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Oyo State Bureau of Statistics and Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology.
The local group organised a day stakeholders’ meeting to discuss core issues affecting data generation and production, data archiving and retrieving, data banking, data reporting, data integrity and reliability etc. The meeting was organised to ensure quality data production that would aid effective decision and policy as well as to acquaint members with new ideas that will improve the society. The speakers were Professor TO Obilade from Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State and Professor KS Adekeye from Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State.
The one-day meeting had in attendance, seasoned academicians, researchers, data users from government agencies, research institutions and industries. The meeting highlighted cogent areas for the Nigeria statistical society and ways to improve outcomes (results) that directly impact on decisions and policies, teaching and researches as well as the economy.
Statistics is a powerful tool used for accountability, public debate, policy formation and socio-economic decisions. It was also identified as a light that reveals the reality of any country or system because it is the eyes through which any society and economy is viewed.
A national statistical system which comprises of data producers (data collectors), data users (agencies and industries) and academicians (researchers) must be synergised to foster socio-economic and political development of the country, as well as to ensure that the country is positioned in the right direction.
The following recommendations were raised at the end of the deliberation:
- Statisticians must desist from impairing on data collection by influencing data to suit their expectation. Data must be collected raw and undiluted for it to generate quality information needed for development.
- Researchers must stop lowering standard to suit research sponsors. The essence of research is to identify and propose new ideas, better techniques and to contribute new knowledge for development,
- There must be passion for research with the mindset to improve the society, economy and the country.
- Researchers must stop working in isolation; other professionals should be engaged and acknowledged after findings.
- Academicians should engage industries in research collaborations which would aid national development. Also, intra-collaboration should be encouraged to foster better national statistical system and database in Nigeria.
- There should be an integrated and strong national statistical body for Nigerians that would handle the areas of statistical visibility in Nigeria.
- The curriculum for Statistics (as a course) in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria must be reviewed to incorporate revolutionary practices and trends.