President Muhammadu Buhari has faulted the statistics quoted about Nigeria and developed abroad by the World Bank, International, Monetary Fund other international organisations, describing them as “wild estimates” which “bear little relation to the facts on the ground.”
He also directed the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to commence a comprehensive data-gathering of all Internally Displaced Persons camps in the North East.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity), Femi Adesina, said the President expressed these feelings in Abuja on Wednesday while administering oaths of office on members of the newly constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council, chaired by Prof. Doyin Salami.
Buhari also set an agenda of what they should accomplish in the shortest possible time, describing the PEAC as ‘‘most important national assignment.”
He said, “As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection. Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies.
“Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground. This is disturbing as it implies we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country.
“We can only plan realistically when we have reliable data. As you are aware, as a government, we prioritised agriculture as a critical sector to create jobs and bring prosperity to our rural communities. Our programmes covered the entire agricultural value chain from seed to fertiliser to grains and ultimately, our dishes.
“As you travel in some rural communities, you can clearly see the impact. However, the absence of reliable data is hindering our ability to upgrade these programmes and assure their sustainability.”
The statement added that the President said he had directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs to “commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons camps in the North East.”
Speaking on the Social Investment Programmes, the President told the PEAC members that his administration was working to measure the impact of the programme targeted at improving the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable citizens.
He directed them to coordinate and synthesise ideas and efforts on how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years, working in collaboration with various employment-generating agencies of government.
The President also assured the PEAC members that the Federal Government would ensure that all their needs and requests were met before the next technical sessions in November.