15 July 2010

Nigeria: 'Population Data Critical to Attaining MDGs'

Abuja — As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to mark World Population Day, stakeholders yesterday in Abuja said effective use of population data and statistics remains a key strategy to attaining the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals Challenge.

This was the submission by Discussants at the event declared to mark World Population Day, according to the Executive Director of the National Population Commission, Samu'ila Danko Makama, "the Federal Government is conscious of the significant role of statistical data in its commitment to providing better life for Nigerians, the key to fulfilling the MDGs target, is availability of data, after the 2006 census exercise, efforts have been made to ensure that this primary objective is met".

While stating that government is determined to meet the MDGS which are people oriented, Makama decried the absence of data usage among Nigerians, "the benefits derivable from the use of statistical data cannot be over emphasized, however, it is regrettable that with all the investment made, the culture of data utilization for sustainable planning is yet to be entrenched in the country".

"Many people are interested in census figures only for revenue allocation and the delineation of electoral constituencies, until the average individual can practically utilize demographic data, all human and material investments will not yield results", Makama maintained.

Also speaking at the event, United Nations Fund on Population Agency (UNFPA) Resident Representative, Dr Agathe Lawson observed that, "with world attention focused on achieving the MDGs by 2015, and the up coming summit, the availability of consistent and comparable statistical information has become even more crucial".

She added that, "having provided the necessary support for the conduct of the 2006 census, the current focus of UNFPA is to support further analysis and dissemination of the data collected, we will also continue to ensure that reliable and timely data are available for development planning", she stated.

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