An expert in data analysis, Mr Franklin Nkpecha, has urged government at all levels to invest in data generation to fast track development in the country.
Nkpecha, who is the Head of Operations, Data Lead Africa, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that data gathering must be given attention.
He spoke on the sidelines of a graduation ceremony for young data analysts in Abuja
He said this was necessary to make governance easier, fast-track development and make government programmes reach targeted persons.
Nkpecha said that insecurity, unemployment, poverty and other social challenges bedeviling the country could be easily addressed with adequate data.
“Data is not given the attention it deserves; if we can give data the appropriate attention it deserves in every sphere in society, not just in the education or health sector, we will find governance easy for us.
“Data help to make better decisions, if you do not have an idea of the number of people needing your intervention, there is no way your intervention will be effective.
“So, with the government investing in data generation, it will help bring better policies that will target the problem of the populace,’’ he said.
One of the graduands, Miss Daniella Daniel, told NAN she was working on a project to provide data on the impact of sexual abuse among male children in order to generate conversation around the “silent crime’’.
Daniel, who noted that there was little or no campaign to checkmate this, called on religious groups, civil societies, schools and women groups to champion the campaign.
“We need a society that is more sensitive to the plight of people particularly boys; there should be more conversation, more sensitisation, more awareness,’’ she said.
Rex Enagbo, another graduand, said that to ensure informed and accurate decision, data was important.
Enagbo said that with digitisation there was need for data to catch up with the speed of development.
He said that all the social challenges bedeviling the country could be addressed effectively with adequate data.
Sarah Dinah, another respondent, suggested that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) should be reformed to allow for easy access to the data it generates.
She also suggested that government should create a platform for young Nigerians to use their knowledge and skills in data gathering and analysis to fill up gaps in the NBS.