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Aderinola Bunmi
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, has underscored the importance of data in the progress of the country.

Kale, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said this while delivering the seventh yearly public lecture of the Department of Economics, University of Lagos (UNILAG).

In the lecture titled “From conundrum and contradiction to coherence and consistency: Data and policies for Nigeria’s development”, Kale said data can help expose truths and give directions.

He said: “There cannot be meaningful progress without good, reliable, and timely data. We do not want the conundrums and contradictions any longer. We seek to move to data, coherence and consistency.

“My objective is to show how data help us to uncover truths that may not be so obvious from cursory inspection.”

Explaining the role data plays in helping understand problems, Kale said it was also important to get data right.

“We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when creating them. This means we cannot solve problems doing the same thing, with the same people, in the way and expect a different result,” he said.

Discussing Nigeria’s problems, Kale attributed the country’s economic woes to failure to save and invest when it had plenty.

Firstly Nigeria did not save as we should and secondly we did not significantly better invest either instead Nigeria continued to consume, especially imported goods and service.

As a result, he was it was difficult to achieve growth that is more inclusive and creates jos.

He said the unemployment rate would continue to rise and a faster rise in unemployment means anti-social and deviant behaviour will become more prevalent raising the prospect of social conflict.

Kale, however, said the country’s challenges were not insurmountable.

“The development challenge facing the country are not insurmountable, they are more or less the consequences of actions and policy choices taken at some point,’’ he said.

Dignitaries at the event included the Chairman of the lecture, Prof Michael Adebayo; UNILAG Vice-Chancellor Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, represented by the Dean of the Faculty of Social Science, Prof Iyiola Oni; Head of Economics Department, Prof Risikat Dauda.

Kale further advised the students to work hard.

“In every area of your life concentrate on your work, work as if someone is constantly watching you because you don’t know who will recommend you later in the future. This so as to let the students know that his present position is a result his hard work.’’

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