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UN, Nigerian government prioritise need for national data visualisation

Mathias Schmale, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, said the project was vital to implementing government policies and programmes in Nigeria.

• November 28, 2023

The United Nations, the Nigerian government and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have underscored the need to prioritise data visualisation in decision-making processes at the official inauguration of the ‘Nigeria visualised project’ on Monday night in Abuja.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and the NBS put the programme together.

Mathias Schmale, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator, said the project was vital to implementing government policies and programmes in Nigeria.

Mr Schmale said, “To meet the UN 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development requires that we continue to track key indicator of progress that we need around the world. Where we have fallen and need acceleration, the UN, through the instrument of the SDG framework, has committed to supporting the government in reporting the trajectory on SDGs.

“Too often data gets lost on the shelves and on countless bases; that is why this platform is important to put a human face on and help relate with data.”

Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, said the project would no doubt give more access and information to Nigerians.

“Sometimes, we present them in a way people know, with different opportunities and development challenges and sometimes mutual suspicion,” stated Mr Bagudu. “Visualisation can give you a full view about your country or developmental challenges and cultural opportunities in the landscape. 

“When we are dealing with issues, particularly climate change, many people cannot relate to the challenges of others because they do not know. This project will be an important tool for knowing Nigeria better, both by Nigerians and non-Nigerians.”

Jamila Ibrahim, Minister of Youth Development, commended UNDP and NBS for their commitment to harness data and advanced visualisation techniques.

“Nigeria’s visualised web platform is a beacon of progress offering a rich visual story about our nation and its diverse population. The areas of focus being geography, climate, economy, and demography, among other things, underscore commitment to tackle socio-economic, cultural and ecological dynamics.

“The objective of democratising access to data aligns seamlessly with our shared vision for informed decision-making and sustainable progress,” Ms Ibrahim said.

Semiu Adeniran, NBS’s statistician general, said collaboration with UNDP and the ministry marked a new turn in collective data gathering.


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