Governments need to get accurate data in order to improve the conditions of the people and effectively deal with the challenges of population, governance and accountability.
The Regional Director of Ford Foundation, Innocent Chukwuma, made this observation on Wednesday in Abuja, while speaking at the Third Nigerian Education Innovation Summit, NEDIS 2017, titled “From Evidence to Policy and Action: What works?”
He lamented that policies are being made in Nigeria without rigorously gathered data.
According to Mr. Chukwuma, the issues in public governance in Nigeria are the need for government to know the accurate number of people it is making policies for and give account of its finances.
Also speaking, the consultant, Social Development for Women for Health, W4H, Fatima Adamu, said Nigeria would remain stagnant until it begins to produce and share credible data and use them as the basis of public policies and actions.
“We cannot plan without good data. In any part of the country where there is problem, we should present data the way it is and not politicise them,” she said.
She said because government does not have statistical knowledge about the country, investments by development partners end up wasted.
A member of Transparency and Development Information Initiative, Ibrahim Maryam, observed that there is no coordination of efforts and targets between civic societies and government, noting that while one is concerned about the quality of education, the other only looks at building classrooms.
“Some communities need medication but the donors are focusing on malaria only. Children between age 0-5 are dying of malnutrition because there is not enough funding, only UNICEF funds nutrition,” he said.
He urged government to ensure public participation especially at the grassroots level as it is at that level that accurate data can be obtained.
Farouk Tijani, a student of Junior Secondary School, Area 1, Garki in Abuja, said the use of modern technology will improve the quality of education in Nigeria.
“Technology will enhance a flexible system of learning in the country,” he said at the event.
He appealed to the government to equip computer laboratories in public schools with computers to improve learning.
The managing director of The Education Partnership Centre, TEP, Modupe Olateju, said the objective of NEDIS was to make education innovations have impact.
She said participants had been exposed to training on how to mobilise resources for projects.
“They have learnt how to communicate and disseminate information effectively,” she said.
“When there is a platform to collaborate and partner with organisations and individuals, we will be able to know what the challenges, strength and opportunities are,” she concluded.