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Nigeria needs data to understand climate challenges, says Minister

The Federal Government has said that the country needs data to understand climate challenges in the context of sustainable national development.

Clement Agba
Mr. Clement Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning

Mr Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, stated this in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, on Friday, September 3, 2021, at the ongoing 44th Annual Conference of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA).

Agba described the theme of the conference,  “Climate Change and Socio-Economic Consequences Statistics’’, as apt.

He said, “A proactive response to climate issues will best serve the development of Nigeria in the context of sustainable development.

“To be proactive, therefore, one of the major trends that is guiding the Federal Government’s ongoing development of the Medium Term National Development Plan from 2021 to 2025, is the green economy.

“Like the rest of the world, Nigeria is committed to developing measures that will protect it from the vulnerabilities of the adverse effects of climate change.

“Nigeria needs to move towards climate adaptations that will diversify its energy sources away from fossil fuel to embracing the green economy.

“However, the global energy transition must be inclusive, equitable and just, taking into consideration different realities of various economies of the world.’’

Agba noted that statistics was a vital source of information as it provides policy makers with correct data on all aspects of life, state of the economy, including the growth of the population, health and others.

To ensure the existence of robust and reliable statistics, he said the Federal Government was determined to entrench a system that would eliminate the practice of falsifying data for selfish interest.

Gov. Ben Ayade, who declared the conference open, maintained that statisticians must find the connection between science and reality.

Ayade said statistics would make no sense if it lacked proper interpretation to bring value to mankind.

“For example, in Nigeria, there is a great concern as to what the real percentage of unemployment exacerbated by the result of climate change is.

“The different figures that lack reliability require the incoming statisticians to fill the gap; your responsibility is to work with the Federal Government to guarantee the reliability and availability of data,’’ he said.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Simon Harry, said that in collaboration with the NSA, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) would ensure that the framework and methodology for producing statistics in the nation is reviewed.

Harry added that the rate of unemployment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Nigeria would also be reviewed to get the true status of the nation’s economy.

By Christian Njoku

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