Lawmaker Advocates Protection of Stats Office From Political Interference

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on National Planning and Economic Affairs, Mr Isiaka Ibrahim, has said the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) must be insulated from political interference to perform more effectively.

Mr Ibrahim said this at a Public Lecture to mark the 2023 African Statistics Day celebration in Abuja on Wednesday themed Modernising Data Ecosystems to Accelerate the Implementation of the AfCFTA: The Role of Official Statistics and Big Data in the Economic Transformation and Sustainable Development of Africa.

He said the reliability of data from the stats office would be questioned if there was any form of political interference, stressing that, “Statistics forms the adjustable shock absorber of any government, be it at the local, state and federal level.”

“Any government that is not taking what we are talking about today so seriously is only going to succeed in handing poverty to its citizens.

”We need to insulate the NBS from any political interference, because once whatever the whole world wants to rely on is subjected to alteration through political interference, the reliability will be in doubt.

“But once you are insulated through the backing of the law, definitely everyone will be encouraged to do his or her job effectively and efficiently,” he said further.

His counterpart in the Senate, Mr Abdullahi Yahaya, said Nigeria had many challenges, including poverty, inflation and accumulation of debts.

The Senate Committee Chairman on National Planning and Economic Affairs said that the NBS needed to provide reliable data to convince the executive and legislature of ways to address some of these challenges.

He assured the NBS that the National Assembly would ensure the bureau gets the needed resources to obtain accurate data to help banish poverty in Nigeria.

“We will look into your challenges and give you the necessary tools you need to provide the needed reliable information to address these challenges,” he said.

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