President Muhammadu Buhari has disagreed with the data presented by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Nigeria. He described them as failing to reflect the current realities of the country.
Buhari explained that data by local institutions are better and more appropriate. Also, the President admitted the role of accurate collection of data in the country’s social and economic planning.
This was contained in a series of tweets by the president on Wednesday, October 9, via his verified Twitter handle.
“Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies. Some of these statistics are wild estimates that bear little relation to the facts on the ground.”
The president further disclosed that he had instructed the newly inaugurated Presidential Economic Council to prioritise a framework on data collection that would make national planning and policymaking more feasible.
“We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As a government, we are taking very serious steps to improve the quality of data available for policymaking. Today I charged the Presidential Economic Advisory Council to prioritise the collection of primary data,” he added.
The President’s comment is however contrary to submissions by the Director-General of the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, Yemi Kale, who hinted on a form of partnership between the NBS and the World Bank on data collection as it relates to Nigeria.
According to Kale, the NBS is largely responsible for most of the data collected for use in Nigeria and by foreign bodies.
“Majority of data published in Nigeria comes from the NBS. The foreign bodies do not collect data in Nigeria.”
He further added that the World Bank, IMF and other foreign institutions regularly enter into a partnership with the bureau for data collection.
“The World Bank partners with us a lot and they give us financial support. We are currently collecting data on poverty which in partnership with the World Bank and another project on corruption in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC),” Kale said.
He, however, said that the foreign bodies still do data modelling where the data the need is not available.
“They do estimates in their countries sometimes when the data they needed does not exist. They only create models when they cannot access the data they need anywhere else.”