Experts have urged policymakers and business managers to leverage available data to formulate policies, allocate resources, measure successes and enhance the efficiency of government programmes to bolster the economy.
At the public presentation of the book: “Nigeria in Figures: A Socio-Economic Databook,” written by renowned economist and Managing Director/Chief Economist of the Analysts Data Services and Resources (ADSR), Dr. Afolabi Olowookere, held in Lagos at the weekend, the experts admonished political office holders to embrace data in formulating policies for the development of the country.
Specifically, former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, who served as the chairman of the event, Dr. Segun Aina, said the Federal Government and subnationals can adopt a data-driven approach to improve the lives of the citizenry and tackle the myriads of problems facing the nation’s economy.
He pointed out that strategic use of data would enable the government to make more intelligent, real-time decisions than would have been impossible.
“This book holds a lot of promises for Nigeria. In the face of the many challenges facing the economy, this is an opportunity for the new government to look at the process of building a new Nigeria based on data, he said.
“The book has data that the Fed. govt and the subnational including the local government can use it to plan and make progress because if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail. It is a contribution to the government as a tool they can use to move the country forward,” he said.
The author, Dr. Olowookere, said he was inspired to write the book, to equip policymakers with the relevant data and information to initiate socioeconomic policies, tackle the challenges of inadequate application of data in planning as well as serve as a useful guide for benchmarking and monitoring the country’s socio-economic progress.
Olowookere, who identified inadequate application of data in planning as one of the challenges facing the country, stated that it took him more than 10 years to put the book together.
He said: ” Government needs to be adequately equipped with the necessary data, information and analysis of ‘where we are, how we got here, what has been done in the past and the outcomes, what works elsewhere that can be adopted, as well as what can be done in the immediate, medium and long-term periods to grow the economy.”