NBS begins survey on poverty statistics – Statistician General

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United Bank for Africa

The Statistician General of the Federation, Mr Yemi Kale, says the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) will commence the Nigeria Living Standard Survey (NLSS) from Sept. 27.

Kale disclosed this at a One Day Stakeholder’s Sensitisation Workshop on NLSS in Keffi.

He said: “work is going to start next week; for us to be sensitising the public, it basically means that we are ready to go.

“All the background work, all the plenary exercise have been done and we are informing people so they can ask their questions and help us sensitise the public.

“From next week, trained field officers will be deployed to selected households in enumerated areas across the country over the next 12 months.

“They will collect information on consumption, expenditure, assets and general living conditions,” said Kale.

According to him, the accurate provision of this information will ensure that indicators that reflect the true living condition of households in the country are produced.

He said it would also ensure that the government its partners had the best possible information to work with, thereby giving their policies and programmes the best chance of success.

Kale said a lot of quality assurance measures and checks had been put in place to ensure good results from the field.

“Like all NBS household-based surveys, this round of NLSS, will for the first time be carried out using electronic means of data collection.

“Field staff, trainers and monitors have been undergoing rigorous and extensive training in preparation for the data collection.

“The purpose of all these quality assurance measures and methodological improvements is to ensure that we collect the best possible information from the field, and in turn generate good living standard estimates for the country.

“There is a lot going on right now in the country, with all the visible socio-economic challenges being experienced,” the Statistician General said.

He said government and its partners require information on security, unemployment and environmental challenges to understand how they affect households and communities in the country.

“It will further assist them in designing policies and programs and assist them in monitoring and evaluating existing programs for the maximum benefit of the citizens,’’ Kale said.

According to him, the NLSS is a very important exercise, not just for NBS or the statistical system in Nigeria, but also for the nation.

He said: “It is from this exercise that we derive statistically sound indicators for measuring poverty and inequality in Nigeria.

“It also serves as a major source of data for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda for tracking Nigeria’s attainment or otherwise, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The subject of poverty is very critical to a developing country like Nigeria, most, if not all of government effort is geared towards ensuring that citizens are able to attain a decent standard of living.

“We will be failing in our mandate if we are not providing the public, government and policy makers with useful and reliable statistics to deploy in designing and implementing poverty-alleviating interventions and programs across the country.

“It is for this reason that we have been working with the National Social Safety Net Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and the World Bank to carry out this exercise.’’

Mr Isiaka Olarewaju, commended all the partners that had made the survey a reality while soliciting for more cooperation.

Also, Mr Iorwa Apera, National Coordinator, NASSCO, pledged the continuous support of the office to the NBS.

Apera expressed optimism that the result of the survey would meet the expectation of Nigerians and all stakeholders.

The World Bank representative, Mr Kelvin McGee, said the result of the survey would be of great relevance to the nation and international community.

He pledged that the bank would build on the partnership that it had with the NBS.

Mr Greg Nzekwu, the representative of the European Union, also commended the NBS for taking a bold step in carrying out the survey.

Nzekwu urged the various States Statistician General to ensure it sensitised its people on the importance of the survey so that they can cooperate with the NBS.