States across Nigeria have been urged to create Bureau of Statistics for their respective states with the purpose of embracing open data which would help in advancing development across the states.
The charge was made by Michael Famoroti, an Economist and Partner at Stears while speaking on States of States: Using Open Data to Drive Subnational Development in Nigeria at the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum 2019.
Famoroti said some states only depend on the National Bureau of Statistics for data concerning their states which makes it difficult for them to plan effectively for their people.
Famoroti added that “only few states have Bureau of Statistics and this mean the government in those states are blind to issues affecting residents and citizens of their states. It is not expensive to run a bureau of statistics, they should be established and sponsored, so that states can have data to work with.”
He decried the practices in some public enterprises that do not embrace open data. “NNPC publishing 2017 monthly report in February 2019 is not transparency”, Famoroti added.
On his part, Alfred Okoh, Technical Advisor to the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation said the government have been publishing data but maybe not timely. He explained that the Nigerian Government is embracing the Open Government Partnership, OGP, which has helped to achieve open budgeting.
He however added that there’s need for to engage citizens more as regards open data.