Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has emphasised that reliable data is necessary towards formulating sound policies and taking good decisions that will benefit the citizenry.
The governor who made this known while launching the Health Facility Analytic Dashboard and Health Facility Census, pointed out that in this "period of Covid-19 pandemic, we can't afford to work in the dark."
El-Rufai said that one of the challenges that his administration faced when it came on board was that the government "was planning without enough and reliable data in the health sector."
The governor recalled that he pleaded with Mr Bill Gates, the co-chair of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to support Kaduna State to build a reliable data base, when he came to sign an MoU on routine immunisation on January 20, 2016.
El-Rufai who said that Mr Gates promised to help Kaduna State to develop its data collection capabilities, thanked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for delivering on the promise.
According to him, the Health Facility Analytic Platform "will help us to address some of the challenges that we faced in that sector."
"My prayer is for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help us develop similar platforms for the education and agricultural sectors," the governor further said.
The governor called on Development Partners to coordinate their data collections and analysis efforts so in order to prevent duplication of resources, so that "we can systematically improve data outcomes and our understanding of what we can do with the data in our state."
"We started with the health facilities census as a baseline. Over time, we have updated the data and today, we have a very reliable and up-to-data about facilities, services, human resources and the state of infrastructure in the health sector," he said.
The governor said that the platform was developed by young Nigerians who are based in Kaduna, adding that "it is a totally home-grown solution that addresses our local problem."