- Buhari says data released by international organizations not reflecting the real happening.
- Says actionable data critical to implementing effective strategies to address pressing problems such as these humanitarian issues.
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) to focus on developing reliable data that will properly reflect what is happening in the country.
The president gave the charge on Wednesday in Abuja after administering oaths of office on members of the newly constituted PEAC. He also set an agenda of what they should accomplish in the shortest possible time.
Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity in a statement said the president charged the 8-man Council chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami to focus on the goals of achieving the task before the PEAC which he described as the most important national assignment.
‘‘As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection. Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies.
‘‘Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground.
‘‘This is disturbing as it implies we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country,” he said.
He noted that adequate planning is possible with reliable data and his administration has prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to the rural communities.
‘‘Our programs covered the entire agricultural value chain from seed to fertiliser to grains and ultimately, our dishes.
‘‘As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programmes and assure their sustainability,” he said.
Speaking on the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs), the President told members that his administration was working to measure the impact of the programme targeted at improving the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens. He recently relieved Vice President of the role as the supervisor of the project and transferred it to the new Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
According to him, the minister, Sadiya Umar Faruq has been asked to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.
‘‘Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the North East. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact.
‘‘In 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.
‘‘Therefore, actionable data is critical to implement effective strategies to address pressing problems such as these humanitarian issues.
‘‘I, therefore, look forward to receiving your baseline study as this will help us shape ideas for a sustainable and prosperous future,’’ the President said.
On his expectations from the council, the President urged them to proffer solutions on how to move the country and economy forward.