30 November 2012

Tanzania: Minister Urges More Use of Statistics

THE Deputy Minister for Finance, Ms Saada Salum Mkuya, has urged policy makers, stakeholders and the general public to use official statistics produced by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for evidence based decisions.

Ms Mkuya who was speaking yesterday in Dar es Salaam while officiating a statistical review workshop, said that reliable and valid statistics were vital in formulating appropriate policies and monitoring improvement in the standard of the people.

"Indeed, it is now nationally and internationally agreed that a good and reliable statistical information system is a necessary infrastructure and part of enabling an environment for national and global development initiatives as it enables government to formulate appropriate policies," she explained.

She said that the government initiated Tanzania Statistical Master Plan (TSMP) in the financial year 2011/2012 purposely to strengthen the national statistical system through institutional and human resource development. The deputy minister declared that the finance ministry will continue supporting the NBS to enable them coordinate statistical activities in the country.

Ms Mkuya on the other hand challenged the Statistics Bureau to ensure that it educates the public on the significance of using statistics while making them available all the time. The Representative from World Bank, Mr Thomas Danielewitz urged the statistics bureau to ensure that it makes all relevant statistics available and be accessed without any difficulty.

He noted that availability of statistics helps improve transparency and also leads to improvements in data quality as analysts and researchers examine the data and provide useful feedback. The NBS Director of Economic Statistics, Mr Morrice Oyuke said that the Bureau was determined to ensure that valid and reliable facts and figure are timely available for various use in the country.

He said that reliable statistics are required for planning, budgeting and reporting of the outcome of the interventions that aim at reducing poverty and improving welfare of the citizens. Mr Oyuke appealed to the general public to show readiness in visiting NBS offices in case there were statistics related issues that needed clarifications from the officials.

"The office is there to serve policy makers, politicians and the entire public. It is more convincing to argue and set policies basing on the available statistics, we thus need all people to make a physical visit to NBS or visit our website should they need valid and reliable statistics," Mr Oyuke noted.

Thursday's annual statistical review becomes the second since independence, the first was conducted in October last year.

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