Mr Clem Agba, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, says Nigeria’s culture, creative, hospitality and tourism sector holds the potential to be at the world top for creativity and tourism.
He said this on Thursday in Abuja during the 2021 African Statistics Day celebration with the theme: “Modernising National Statistical Systems to support Socio-Cultural Development in Africa”.
According to him, Nigeria has a large and creative youth population, the world’s second-largest movie-producing industry, Africa’s most prominent music industry and a rich and diverse cultural heritage.
Agba said that the Federal Government had put in place a National Policy for Culture and was currently implementing several intervention programmes for the socio-cultural development of the country through the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
“Furthermore, with higher internet penetration across the country, the growth of digital services in the culture, creative, hospitality and tourism sector presents more opportunities for investments and growth.”
He said that the 2021 celebration was in line with an aspect of the vision of the Federal Government which was devoted to raising awareness on the importance of credible statistical production processes and the usage for evidence – based policy formulation.
According to him, statistical information are such important tools that their production processes need to be demand-driven, apart from other regular statistical exercises.
He, therefore urged users and producers of statistics in Nigeria to establish a strong synergy to ensure that data produced were relevant and useful.
“Thus, I call on the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), to put in place all necessary measures that would ensure the creation of awareness on the importance of sustained production and usage of statistics at both the national and sub-national levels of government.
“In order to support this aspiration, the production of disaggregated statistics that would provide a comprehensive assessment of the magnitude and type of intervention programme becomes imperative.
“In this connection, there is the need to ensure the existence of a strong national statistical system that would be responsible for the collection, processing, compilation, analysis, dissemination and archiving of all social-cultural statistics in Nigeria.”
Agba said he was aware of the financial constraints in data production and also promised that the budgetary allocation for NBS would be increased to enable it continually live up to the standard of producing useful data.
In his address, Mr Simon Harry, the Statistician-General of the Federation, said that socio-cultural integration enhances economic growth and development.
According to him, it is a key strategy for strengthening intra-regional trade and is expected to produce considerable economic gains for Africa.
“The progress of socio-cultural integration must be supported by high quality, timely and comparable social statistics.
“These provide data for tracking various aspects of socio-cultural integration, including trade, infrastructure, labour mobility, capital investment, productive capacity and monetary and financial integration.”
He added that as countries continue to pursue development policies and programmes to accelerate cultural integration and cooperation arrangements, there was need to advance the development of socio-cultural statistics within the continent and Nigeria in particular.
The Conference of African Ministers responsible for Economic Planning and Development during its 1990 session in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, declared Nov. 18 of every year as “African Statistics Day”.
The essence of the declaration was for every member nation to observe the day with series of activities that would help to increase public awareness about the important role statistics play in sustainable development.