By Babajide Okeowo
Dr. Olaniyi Olayiwola, Chairman of the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) Nigeria Local Group, says that proper statistics can help solve the security challenge in Nigeria.
He said this on Monday in Abuja, at the opening of three-day training for members of staff of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The theme of the training was “Data Management Strategies to Improve National Planning and Development” organised in collaboration with RSS.
Olayiwola, who is the Head of Department of Statistics, College of Physical Sciences, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), attributed the insecurity challenge to communication gap in many quarters.
He described communication gap simply as lack of information.
According to him, certain people or groups are agitating for certain things that have not been identified which has given rise to the agitations.
He added that tracing and identifying what the people were agitating for would help solve insecurity.
“If we are able to identify that and address it, then the crisis will be resolved, but we must trace and identify first before we can solve.
“If you organise a survey to address the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, then from that survey we put in certain response predictors into the model.
“What are the factors that come back as response to these survey questions?
“Now this model, when we develop it and run it, it will search round and pick the particular response that will tell the truth about the major cause of problems in Nigeria, then we just focus on that and solve the problem.”
Olayiwola also emphasised the need for correct and reliable data management for proper planning to solve all issues.
He said that the mandate of the society was to promote statistical knowledge in the country.
This according to him, is the motivation to train NBS members of staff on a new model of survey to enable it solve the many challenges in the country that could be attributed to insecurity.
They range from unemployment to banditry, kidnapping and many other things.
He said that if insecurity was tackled all, other things would fall in place and investors would be confident to invest in Nigeria.
Olayiwola added that with these, unemployment would also be resolved and agriculture would be enhanced as people would go back to farms.
The Statistician-General of the Federation, Mr Simon Harry, said that capacity building for members of staff was one of the cardinal points of the bureau.
Harry, represented by Mr Adeyemi Adeniran, the Director, Household and Demographic Department, said that the training would equip the staff on newer technology models that would help in better planning for Nigeria.
Mr Biyi Fafunmi, the Director, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department, said that the bureau was always open to such collaborations as it would be an added advantage for its staff.
“So we are always happy to see people come in to collaborate with us and that is why, when this initiative came, we found it very important.
“We must build capacity within the system, not only in ICT, because all of us are data producers and that is why this management thought it fit that we should bring more people into the fold of knowing what this new technology is all about.
“We are used to SPSS, Stata, and so on, but the world is evolving, so we have to move forward.
“We have to look for more robust applications to do our data analysis because there are limitations in some of the tools that I have mentioned.”