GDP rebasing crucial to achieving Vision 20:2020 goals –Kale

The Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, has restated the strategic importance of the ongoing Gross Domestic Product, GDP, rebasing project to national development and canvassed stakeholders’ support for the exercise as a strategic option for realisation of the broad policy objectives of the current Transformation Agenda as well as those of the broader Vision 20:2020 policy blueprint.

Kale, who spoke elaborately on various initiatives being undertaken by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to improve the quality of the Nigerian statistical system at the Sensitisation Workshop on Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Rebasing Exercise in Abuja, described the GDP rebasing project as coming at an auspicious time after over 23 years since the last exercise. He said it is designed to help update Nigeria’s GDP in a way that would reflect the accurate value added of the production of goods and services in all sector of the economy.

According to him, the NBS is embarking on the rebasing year from the current 1990 because the data sources and use of proxies are set in the base year; the need to make the base year structure more representative of the economy since consumption and production patterns change over time and the need to properly capture the changes in patterns and classification of sector, sub-sectors and their regrouping due to the adoption of the latest System of National Accounts (SNA) of the United Nations.

On the importance of the project to national development, Kale said: “Nigeria can become a developed nation only if everyone contributes to the best of his or her ability and capacity. He said, “The job of government is to set a strategic vision for the nation and design policies, plans and programmes to drive the vision. Government must then invite the nation to respond to that vision and to give that vision flesh and bones and to advance the ideas to translate a vision in to reality. “To do this however, we have a great responsibility in providing the reliable data in a timely fashion, required to make this a reality.

“As a nation, I believe we face two overall choices: We can either drift into the future or we can plan for our future for providing the up to date statistics that enables us to design policies, plans and programmes for development. “I believe it is time to seize the future with both hands, to build an improved statistical system that is needed for a better and more developed Nigeria for our benefit and those of our fellow citizens. The rebasing of GDP is just one step in that direction”, Kale added.

In his remarks at the workshop, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Senior Country Representative in Nigeria, Mr Scott Rogers, said the effort to rebase the nation’s GDP would help Nigeria’s efforts targeted at using reliable and timely statistical data as economic tool for effective planning and implementation of governments’ policies at national and sub-national levels. While commending the NBS for embarking on the initiative after several years it had not been considered as a priority in national development agenda, the IMF chief was optimistic that the successful completion of the exercise would improve Nigeria’s ratings in terms of her economic capacity and opportunities

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