By Cecilia Ologunagba
An official of the Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA), Dr Olusanya Olubusoye, says Nigeria has one of the best crops of highly respected statisticians in the world.
Olubusoye, the 2nd Vice President of NSA, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
The official said that the association would be showcasing some of its best brains at the NSA forthcoming international conference.
The conference, slated from Sept. 6th to 8th at the University of Lagos, will focus on the theme “Positioning National Statistical System for Data Revolution and Inclusive Development”.
He said statisticians from other countries would be learning from their counterparts in the country at the conference.
“We have so much to learn from them but in terms of training, they can also learn from us.
“We have one of the best crops of highly respected statisticians in the world.
“We have some of them in the country and some abroad; some of them will be giving lectures in their areas of specialisation at the conference.
“For instance, University of Ibadan (UI) is one of the special training centres on statistics in Africa.
“We have only three institutions on the continent designated as special training centres and one of them is UI,’’ the official said.
The official said that the association would also be learning from some statistical associations, institutions and bodies in Africa and abroad.
“We need to learn from others on how they support their statistical associations to have a vibrant way of producing official statistics.
“We need to learn the way they promote statistical education, the way they encourage policy makers to use quality statistics for evidence-based decision rather than personal opinion, political interest and other mundane considerations.’’
He said that the Lagos State Government, through its Bureau of Statistics, would partner with NSA, saying the conference would remain indelible in the history of the country and the association.
He said that the association chose to partner with Lagos State because it operated a knowledge-based economy.
“It is one of the states that is run with evidence-based policies process. They have high regard for data and that is why things seem to be getting better in Lagos.
“ We are collaborating with the state and encouraging it to showcase how they have been using data to make life meaningful and better for the people of Lagos state,’’ the official said.
Olubusoye said that the association had already inaugurated the Young Statisticians of Nigeria (YSNaija) as a wing of the association.
YSNaija consists of those studying statistics at undergraduate, Masters to Post-doctoral levels and those who graduated in the last five years or more working in statistics-related areas.
“ We have been trying to mobilise the early career statisticians to form a very formidable group that can also contribute to nation’s building.
“ We know that in terms of statistical development, we are still growing, so for us to have a very promising future, the earlier career statisticians have a role to play.
“We are trying to link them up with their counterparts in other countries such as statisticians in South Africa and the International Statistical institute,’’ he said.
According to him, statistics is a discipline that globally every age group, from young to adult, is considered to be critical unit and it usually mobilises the citizenries.
“The groups are coordinated not only by UN, they are also mobilised at the continental level. They are mobilised at the National level, that is what we are already doing now.’’ (NAN)