By G9ija

The National Mathematical Centre (NMC) has trained no fewer than 50 postgraduate students on geostatistics, to enhance national planning for effective development.

Prof. Promise Mebine, Director/Chief Executive, NMC, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Monday.

Represented by Prof. Funmilayo Saporo, Coordinator of Statistics at the Centre, Mebine said that the training would help statisticians to address challenges in the area of spatial statistics.

He said that the Centre had a five-day zoom meeting, which targeted graduate assistants, master’s students and master’s degree holders from universities and other interested lecturers in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The training, he explained, aimed at exposing young Nigerian scientists’ and researchers to the knowledge of geostatistics in their research work.

According to him, geostatisrics is statistics applied in space and time; it is not like ordinary statistics applied only in locations.

“The training is intended to expose Nigerian scientists to this field because in Nigeria, geostatistics or spatial statistics is not in the syllabus of the National University Commission (NUC).

“So, with this now they will be exposed and they will have greater capability in analysing data that presents itself in that form.

“For example; if you can look at COVID-19 data across the states you can use the idea of geostatistics to analyse the incidence’’, he said.

He, therefore, advised Nigerian students to take their work seriously and try their best to always overcome challenges instead of being complacent.

“Because there is no way you can have everything easy, definitely Nigeria is going through hard times, that should not deter a serious person from achieving his/her objectives.

The director, however, identified lack of funds as one of the challenges militating against the centre’s activities, saying that if the centre had enough funds allocated to it, it will carry out its activities more efficiently.

Also speaking, Prof. Audu Isah, Department of Statistics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, said that “Foundation Postgraduate course on geostatistics’’ was designed to acquaint statisticians with the area of spatial statistics.

Isah, who was also the resource person for the programme, further explained that geostatistics could be useful in the area of estimation and prediction.

“Sometimes, we may have scarcity of information; it may become difficult to go to each point to gather information, so information is scarce.

“Then, what we do is to get information from whatever point we can and we use that information to predict what may be happening at other locations that we cannot visit considering special dependence.

“This special area applies virtually in every field of life, you can use it even in econometrics, accounting, pollution and any other field one can think of,’’ he said.

Isah noted that “spatial statistics is an area that is about dying in Nigerian universities.

“So this course will open the eyes of many of our graduates of statistics that want to go into spatial statistics, particularly geostatistics which is an aspect of spatial statistics.

“The programme is designed for graduates from Nigerian universities and polytechnics, who may be interested in further studies.

“It is designed in such a way that participants will gain the basic foundation for further research and studies in geostatistics.

“And those that will be interested in carrying out research will actually be aided by this course,’’ he added.