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Anambra Bureau of Statists Seeks Improved Funding for Digital Data Collection



The Statistician General, Anambra State Bureau of Statistics, Mr. Paul Obiekezie Emeka says plans are in top gear to upgrade its data collection system from manual to digital.

Mr. Emeka said this during the Bureau’s defence of its budget before the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation on the 2022 Revised Budget in Awka.

He explained that the State Bureau of Statistics is an agency of the Anambra State Government empowered by law to be the chief custodian of data in the state, adding that adequate data provision enabled the government to properly handle issues in different sectors of the state.

“We are the data bank of the state. Any memo that goes to the governor is expected to have data attached to it for government to know essential areas to pay attention to. The Bureau has data on sectors like Education, Agriculture, Health, etc, to enable government plan properly.”

Reacting to the inquiry by the Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Obinna Emeneka represented by Mr. Nonso Okafor Smart, Deputy Chairman of the committee and member representing Nnewi South on why there was an over 100 per cent increase in the budget provision, Emeka explained that the migration to digital system of operation elicited such increase.

He explained further”: “We currently have census of establishment that covers only seven Local Government Areas – Onitsha North and South, Nnewi North and South, Ogbaru, Idemili North and South. We need to do census to have a full frame of establishments for the state.

“The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) we used to conduct annually is now quarterly. We are also fading out the manual system of operating our data to digital. These are the things that made our budget to be a little bit higher.”

Mr. Emeka noted that the data friendly Governor of the State, Prof. Charles Soludo performed optimally in the Statistics department when he was in the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that he rebuilt the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to reflect its true name as the apex databank of the nation.

The Statistician General commended members of the committee for creating a good, friendly environment for the defence, praying to God to strengthen them to deliberate efficiently on issues that concern the state.

“There has been a great improvement in the House since my time here as the Head of Department (HOD), Planning and Statistics. I pray it continues to be like that.”

The team led by the Statistician General to the defence included Mr. Emeka Okafor, HOD Census and Survey, Mrs Nkiruka Arinze, HOD Accounts, Mrs Nkoli Amuche, HOD Administration and Mr. Okechukwu Chigbata, Research and Methodology Department.

The 2022 Revised expenditure of the State Bureau would cover essential areas like training and registration of statisticians to the 45th Nigerian Statistical Association Conference, refurbishment and rebranding of the State Bureau of Statistics operations.

It would also cover monitoring and evaluation activities, State GDP, publications, continuous upscale of established statistical frame for all economic activities in the state, others.

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