SDGs; How Nigeria’s Pioneering Alignment of National Statistical System for Sustainable Developement

For many decades after the independence of Nigeria as a sovereign nation, alignment of statistical system data that will drive socioeconomic and other development had being neglected, hence precluding genuine sustainable development overtime in the country.

Lack of attention to this critical component not only retarded clear cut decision through alignment of statistics of development, but hampered and tinkered with the analogue mode adopted over the years, with lame duck and many times non compliance to the documented provisions.

But , for the United Nations Sustainable Developement Goals SDGs in Nigeria, this trend does not conform with not only global best practices, but also in sharp contrast with the desired trend of accelerated and accurate development desiring of developing countries like the African subregion, and Nigeria in particular, along with sub nations.

Hence the goals of SDGs in Nigeria was achievable since 2020, being the ‘first’ with alignment of statistics template in it’s programs at sub national, national and international level, so as to inculcate genuine grievances and abhor social inequality, enhance social security and smooth transition to social equilibrium far from other denials.

The pioneer roles by SDGs of being the first in Nigeria and Africa had become the adopted norm across not only Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in the country, but African subregion in it’s entirety.

The acceptable norm of being the “first” alignment of statistics carried out inconjunction with National Board of Statistics NBS, the agency in charge of data interpretation and analysis in Nigeria, the United Nations Development Project UNDP, along with OSSAP SDGs in Nigeria, with a view to tracking and monitoring of sustainable goals in the country.

The development also drew the attention of stakeholders like the UNDP, during the solidarity and official visit to SDGs management in Nigeria, with commendation on it’s efforts and attention to align statistical system, baseline and data bond using the modest technique to provide accurate national statistics system.

In her words, the deputy secretary general, United Nations, Ms Amina J. Mohammed encouraged the SDGs in Nigeria to sustain the tempo.

“The UN Deputy Secretary General was particularly impressed with the efforts of the OSSAP-SDGs to ensure that required data are provided for effective planning, tracking, monitoring and evaluation describing the baseline study, the re-alignment of the National Statistical System and the signing of Data Bond with Ministries Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and the Government at the Sub-National level carried out by the OSSAP-SDGs, as remarkable achievements.
The Data Bond is designed to help provide accurate statistics for more effective implementation of projects and policy formulation.”

She further said, “The UN DSG, who is also the Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group further showered encomiums on Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and her team for their innovative approach to the 2030 Agenda, particularly the provision of pro-poor and pro-development programmes and initiatives as well as establishment of a robust institutional arrangement for the implementation of the goals across the country.”

Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo who applauded the efforts of the SDGs in Nigeria said with the production of the scientific documents, it will be easier tracking it’s achievements on annual basis.

“Aside,tracking , data mapping, design and execution of projects , the SDGs had opened another vista in government activities at national and sub national level that will encourage probity, accountability and transparency.”

“The launch today, is a product of the data mapping exercise, design and execution of the SDGs Data Bond, which demonstrates the desire to realign the National Statistical System with the requirements of the SDGs.”

“The Federal Government is committed to supporting the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGs); the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the entire National Statistical System to guarantee sustained production of relevant statistical information needed for effective tracking and monitoring of SDGs in Nigeria.”

“The Federal Government will continue to count on the patriotism and resilience of Nigerians in our efforts to achieve rapid socio-economic transformations in our dear country, especially at this challenging period in our national development,” the Vice President said while commending OSSAP-SDGs and NBS for the initiative. ”

“Let me conclude by commending the Senior Special Assistant the President on SDGs, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr. Simon Harry, for your leadership in this important process.”

“In presenting this Strategic Report to Nigerians and the international community, I urge all stakeholders to pay close attention to its key findings and recommendations with a view to strengthen the implementation of the SDGs in Nigeria.” The Vice President opined.

At the event, SSA to the President on SDGs in Nigeria, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire said Nigeria has broken the record of being the first nation to align statistical system with the report since 2020 , assuring that government at the national level had created an enabling environment for the production, tracking and monitoring of statistics required for the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria.

“With this launch, Nigeria is now the first country in Africa to have successfully aligned its national statistical system with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs,” she said.

“We are all aware of the daunting responsibilities and challenges being faced in the task of statistical production of data across all MDAs.”

“It is for this reason that as a government at the centre, we are creating the enabling environment necessary for the continuous production of the required statistics for tracking and monitoring the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria.”

“This has become necessary given the fact that planning and policy formulation can only be effective when statistics is promoted as a tool for evidence-based policymaking.”

“As the SDGs are interrelated and interconnected, we have since recognized that the SDGs cannot be achieved with standalone policies and programmes. They must be carefully and scientifically integrated into our national and sub-national medium and long-term development policies and plans,” she said.”

“In effect, achieving the SDGs serves as the basis for effective economic governance to promote the welfare of a nation. In particular, the attainment of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for sustainable development promises a better quality of life for all is to be owned, especially in Nigeria where poverty remains a source of great concern.”

“To achieve this, however, the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria will need to be all-inclusive, in a ‘whole-of-society’ approach so that ‘No one is left behind’.”

“Princess Orelope-Adefulire appreciated the NBS for providing the needed support that enabled the launch of the report.”

“She also asked other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to do the same in order to “put in place a system for sustained, quality and reliable data production at all levels of Government in Nigeria”.

“The Report we are launching today therefore is a product of series of efforts spearheaded by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to which I must commend for the initiatives in laying the platform for the production of statistics that are capable of providing the needed support for tracking, monitoring and reporting the progress in achieving the SDGs in Nigeria,” she added.”

In his words of encouragement and endorsement, the Statistician General, National Board of Statistics and the hub of the scientific, alignment of statistics system, Dr Simon Harry opined that the SDGs in Nigeria with the new document had broken the yoke of underdevelopment across national, sub national and by and large African continent, having demonstrated a leading role of being the first to align it’s template.

“He stated that the achievements made by the SDGs in Nigeria neccessitated the process of the realignment of the National statistical system NSS with SDGs requirements, promised to institutionalize the document as the report will serve as the driving force to the implementation of SDGs programs in Nigeria.”

“Harry also informed that the realignment process was highly participatory, involving relevant MDAs at both the national and sub-national levels, Development Partners, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), special groups including youth and persons living with disabilities and the Organised Private Sector (OPS). ”

“This, he said, was done in order to instil a high sense of ownership.”

“The outcome of these series of consultations constitutes the content of this report,” he said while promising that the NBS will continue to carry other stakeholders along for production of data to drive SDGs in Nigeria. ”

“As the Coordinator of the statistical system in Nigeria, NBS is determined to ensure the institutionalization of the realignment process in all data producing agencies at both the national and sub-national levels of Government,” Harry said.”

With SDGs and the alignment of statistics system, it is easier and most deliberate to drive the provision of social services seamlessly towards meeting it’s goals in the 21st century.

Written By ABUBAKAR YUSUF and can be reached on yus.abubakar3@gmail.com.

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