COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE NIGERIAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION (NSA) AT THE END OF ITS 42ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE HELD AT AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA ON 7th SEPTEMBER 2018.

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE NIGERIAN STATISTICAL ASSOCIATION (NSA) AT THE END OF ITS 42ND  ANNUAL CONFERENCE HELD AT AWKA, ANAMBRA STATE, NIGERIA ON 7th SEPTEMBER 2018.

The Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) held its 42nd  Annual Conference between 5th and 7th September, 2018, at the main Auditorium of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State. The theme of the Conference was “Statistics For Economic Recovery, Growth and Sustainability”. The conference was declared open by His Excellency, the Governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano (Akpokuedike Global), ably represented by Dr. Charles Nwufoh, the Senior  Special Adviser to the Deputy Governor.  Other dignitaries present at the opening ceremony include: Mr. Ichedi Sunday Joel representative of the Statistician General of the Federation; the Hon. Minister of Budget and Planning, ably represented by Mr. Maigida Ishiaka; the Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Joseph E. Ahaneku who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) Professor Charles Esimone; emeritus Prof. Onuoha Mosto K., President Nigerian Academy of Science; Dr. Uwat Bassey Uwat Director of Research CBN who presented a keynote address on behalf of Dr. O. J. Nnanna, the Deputy Governor Economic Policy Directorate CBN; Mr. Mark Okoye, Hon. Commissioner for Economic Planning & Development Partners, Anambra State, Mr. M. K. Tule, Director Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Ngozi Egbuna, Director General West African Monetary Institute Accra Ghana;  Prof. (Mrs.) Joy C. Nwabueze, Deputy Vice Chancellor MOUAU; the Group General Manager Economic Research & Data management NNPC, Mr. Nathaniel Olaoye; Mr. Chris Okeiri, Branch Manager CBN Awka; Miss Fatima Umar  representative of UNDP; Senior Professors of Statistics, Fellows of the Nigerian Statistical Association(NSA), representatives of donor agencies.  

The opening session was chaired by Chief. M. C. Okafor, a former President of the Association.

Three (3) members of the Association who contributed immensely to the growth of the Association were installed as Fellows of the Nigerian Statistical Association (FNSA). They include Dr. Okwu Joseph Nnanna, Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Ngozi Egbuna and Mr. Ikeh Maduabuchi Sylvester.

In his keynote address, the Vice Chancellor Nnamdi Azikiwe University, charged the Nigerian Statistical Association to build up a comprehensive, accurate, reliable and easy-to-access data base for the nation to ensure sound economic policy formulation predicated on evidence-based needs and set goals. Earlier in his welcome address, the National President, Prof. Onyeagu Iheanyi Sidney echoed the relevance of Statistics for economic recovery as he hinted that Statistics tells the story that changes are happening as the inflation rate is dropping to a single digit. He pointed that the theme of the Conference evolves to restore economic growth to the positive part by the year 2020 as earlier envisaged. Recapitulating on the provisions of the National Statistical System (NSS), he was optimistic that Statistics and data production will be greatly positioned for data revolution and inclusive development given the complimentary role of the Nigerian Statistical Association.

Eight lead papers were presented and aptly discussed. They are the Role of Science in Economic Recovery, Growth, Plan and Sustainability by emeritus Prof. Onuoha Mosto K., President Nigerian Academy of Science; Women Empowerment and its Implication on Infant and mortality Reduction in Nigeria by Dr. (Mrs.) Eunice Ngozi Egbuna;  Powering Nigeria For the Future: The Role of the Oil Industry  by Mr. Olaoye Nathaniel. Statistics a Tool for Evidence-Based Policy Making and Economic Sustainability by Mr. Mark Okoye Hon. Commissioner for Economic Planning & Development Partners, Anambra State.   The Role of Statistics in Poverty Reduction Among the Pro-Poor in Nigeria by Mr. M. K. Tule and Opportunities For young Statisticians Under the ERGP by Miss Fatima Umar on behalf of Dr. Ojijo Odhiambo, a Senior Economic Adviser to Nigeria and ECOWAS.

Ninety papers were presented by the participants during the conference which was preceded by a Pre-Conference workshop on “Data Cleaning and Missing Data Analysis With SPSS” held at the Post Graduate School Auditorium Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Presentation of awards to the winners of the first Nigerian Statistical Association Competition for Undergraduates held in May 2018 in which 20 tertiary institutions in Nigeria participated fielding 2 students from the department of Statistics along with a lecturer each who served as jurists. The University of Nigeria Nsukka won the first prize, Usman Danfodio University came second while Nnamdi Azikiwe University came third with a cash rewards of N100,000; N80,000 and N70,000 respectively.  The overall best student in the competition Nda P. Aniette from Akwa Ibom State University Uyo, won a cash prize of N50,000.

The Pre-Conference attracted 101 participants while the main Conference recorded 368 participants. A total number of one hundred new members were inducted.

Subsequently, election to the Governing Council was peacefully conducted after the business session. The following officers emerged to pilot the affairs of the NSA 2018 – 2020:

1.     Prof. S. I. Onyeagu                      President

2.     Dr. G. U. Ebuh                              Vice President I

3.     Prof. S. U Gulumbe                       Vice President II

4.     Dr. O. T.  Arowolo                        National Secretary

5.     Mr. C. O. Aronu                           Assistant National Secretary

6.     Mr. E. S. Okafor                            Treasurer

7.     Elder. E. E.  Umana                      Financial Secretary

8.     Dr. B. F. Ajibade                          Business Manager

9.     Mr. Baba Umar                            Council Member I

        10.      Mrs. F. O. Obikudu                       Council Member II

 From the presentations at the Conference, the following observations were raised:

1.   The Goals of National Statistical System (NSS) to produce relevant, objective and accurate statistics to keep users abreast with developments in the emerging frontiers has not been realized; in particular the enactment by States of edits to enforce the States Statistical Master Plans.

2.   Funding of Statistical activities remains jettisoned by governments and stakeholders.

3.   Statistics is not yet positioned a core subject in the secondary school curriculum;

4.   Statistical System in most States is yet to be implemented.

5.   Inadequate provisions and funding of Statistical production and use of ICT required to position the National Statistical system;

6.   Chartered Institute of Statisticians of Nigerian  (CISON) bill is not assented to, more than two years after its passage by the National Assembly.  

7.   Government does not look inward to utilize resounding crop of resources in terms of professional statisticians internally before hiring experts.

8.   Emerging challenges of policy/programme implementation aimed at diversifying the economy;

9.   Research and Development in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) activities not given proper attention by Government; and

10.        Upsurge in demand for data analytic services and professionals.

Recommendations:

1.   Government should re-introduce Statistics as a core subject in the secondary school curriculum;

2.   Government should create enabling environment to encourage private sector participation to open up the oil and Gas sector and expand investment opportunity space across the entire value chain;

3.   State Governments that are yet to enact their statistics laws are enjoined as a matter of urgency to do so and all states are enjoined to implement the Statistical Master Plan to the letter;

4.   Governments at all levels should make adequate provisions for the funding of Statistics and consequently make use of the results of such exercises, in the design and implementation of programmes for the citizenry;

5.   Governments at all levels should also leverage on the infusion of statistics and ICT by working progressively towards e-government. This would ultimately encourage easier dissemination of statistics as well as enhance ready access to vital information on government activities as against what is currently on ground;

6.   Government should improve funding in Science/Technology education to attain maximum potentials of the ERGP through human capital development;

7.   Government should vigorously make use of big data to promote economic growth and development;

8.   Tertiary institutions should develop curriculum to enhance the teaching of Data Science as a course.

9.   NBS, MDAs and others should use indigenous manpower; and

10.        The President of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari GCFR is urged to assent to the CISON bill.

                                                                        

Prof. S. I. Onyeagu                                                                                                    Dr. O. T. Arowolo

President                                                                                                                     National Secretary

 

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