World Bank flay Nigeria’s poor quality statistics, data

03 January 2013, Newswire – The World Bank has decried the poor state of statistics and data gathering and management in the country.

The Breton Woods institution believes that Nigeria and indeed the whole Sub-Saharan Africa need to ensure that the statistics and data planning sector is vibrant, dynamic and strategic.

This, the bank believes is critical to achieving economic growth and development, modalities must be put in place.

The World Bank’s Director for Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programmes for Africa, Mr. Giugale, in the bank’s outlook of the region, noted that developed economies knowing how valuable proper economic research is to the sustainable development of an economy have been investing in the growth of research and data analysis on the economy.

He said, “First, we don’t really know how big (or small) many African economies are. In about half of them, the system of ‘national accounts’ dates back to the 1960s (1968, to be precise); in the other half, it is from 1993.

“This means that measuring things like how much is produced, consumed or invested is done with methods from the times when computers were rare, the Internet did not exist and nobody spoke about globalisation. That is, the methodology ignores the fact that some industries have disappeared and new ones were born.”

In the late 80s, the former Senior European Economic Zone, leader Mr Jacques Delors in his assessment of the African economies then, stated that a lot of work had to be done in terms of gathering accurate tools and proper data survey metric, to improve analysis and the assessment of economic performance in the region.

Mr. Giugale speaking further on the issue of data, research and analysis of the economies, said the time had come for the region and even Nigeria as a Nation to give priority, to thorough and robust economic planning, surveys and assessment of the economic performance as a way of giving scorecards to Governments’ and their policies.

World Bank in his regional review of Africa and Nigeria, expressed concern over the current metrics used in data analysis of economies and performance, stating that it was outdated and not consistent in giving strategic reports and making economic forecast.

One of the factors for a Sustainable Economic growth of Categorized Developed Economies in the Globe, can be attributed to the strategic and dynamic data planning and survey metrics employed to review, critically analyze trends and make necessary forecast on the Economy.


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  • Typical! Obviously, in the estimation of government officials, keeping the right statistics may limit their ability to fleece the system with impunity.