I was having a deep conversation with friend and mentor, Odinaka Ugwuozor on developments and the place of data gathering. It dawned on us that Nigeria has never had a reliable or workable data system if you go down memory lane. The importance of data can’t be overemphasized. There are innumerable and complex factors preventing the country from having one – government bureaucracy, politics, corruption, sabotage, and obvious incompetence, they have courted to ensure stall the process of a good data system.
This is why different government parastatals are always collecting data. The Independent National Electoral Commission, the Federal Road Safety Corporation, Passport office, and The National Identity management Commission (NIMC). It is NIMC that is supposed to coordinate this responsibility but like others, they are lagging. It has taken the NIMC more than 3 years to issue a National ID card.
So, it is very key for the government to improve its data gathering which in turn better our data system. We gather 4 reasons the Nigerian government needs to improve its data gathering system. Even with the entry of technology, the government still struggles to gather details of every Nigerians and other essential data that are required for the government to make informed decisions.
Plans will be coordinated
The Nigerian budget is based on estimates. We don’t the actual number of crude the country produce daily. We don’t know the demography of Nigerians. Those that are married, or single, those who need jobs. If all this information is available, the government will be able to effectively plan and provide Nigerians with infrastructure that they need and not what they think they need.
Projects will have developmental impact
With data correctly gathered, the government will know what each Nigerians want. The government will know where to site hospitals, schools and other developmental projects that will have the desired impact on the people.
They will make Informed decisions
Good and workable data at the disposal of government will help them make informed decisions. But when it is incomplete, incomplete or unavailable. Decisions will be based on perception or fallacies and not facts.
Better fund management
With the paucity of funds coupled with the recession, the government is more likely to waste funds since they throw money at these projects without considering data on where to site them. Corruption will also significantly reduce.