The Rector of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Mr Femi Omokungbe, has said that timely data and statistics were critical in understanding, managing and mitigating the socio-economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Omokungbe stated this while delivering a keynote address at the 6th Annual International Conference of Professional Statisticians Society of Nigeria (PSSN).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the conference has as it’s theme “Statistics for Sustainable Development in the Post COVID-19 Era.”
According to him, statistical knowledge helps to use the proper methods to collect data, to employ the current analysis and effectively present the results.
So, nowadays, statistics play an important role in developing the world.
“Statistics is everywhere.We cannot hide from statistics,” Omokungbe said.
The rector said that the COVID -19 pandemic was undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges ever faced by almost all the nations of the world.
He said that the pandemic had its effect on the world’s poor, vulnerable and even the allies in terms of the direct impacts on the public health and mortality.
He also said that the pandemic had indirect consequences on the social, economic and political systems of the world.
“We all witnessed it. There was no traveling. There was no business; you are all in one place and so forth,” Omokungbe said.
The Rector said that the measures taken to mitigate the mpact of the pandemic overwhelmed the health system globally.
“It kept up to 98 per cent of students out of school, caused businesses and factories to shut down, disrupted global value chains and the supply of products.
” It is expected to push 71 million people back into extreme poverty and causes almost 32 million people to suffer from undernourishment in 2022, according to WHO report.”
He added that the World Trade was better to plunge by 13 per cent to 42 per cent by 2024.
He said reducing the risk of future disasters and getting closer to achieving the SDG would require innovation, finance and collaboration between government and all stakeholders.
“But all these may not be possible without data, this is where the professional statisticians come in.” Omokungbe said.
He explained that the pandemic had shown that getting the data right could guide the responses to crisis at every step, from response to recovery, with life and death implications.
He said that good data on cases and deaths had been an important tool for government to contain and manage the pandemic.
“Data has also helped to understand the underlying drivers of the disease, who is most at risk, or how we can prevent or be better prepared for the next crisis or disasters.
“There is no doubt that investment in data is urgently needed to respond to the crises and support for the StG acceleration.
He appealed to the government to look at ways of improving the profession by raising the amount of it’s budget on data collection
“So, we will encourage government to come to the aid of the society by providing grants to the society,” Omokungbe said.
The Rector urged government agencies, industries and corporate organisations to deploy statistics related to production, consumption, birth, death and so on in decision making, to have a sustainable growth in all areas of life.
“Let us remember that statistics is life and life is statistics,” Omokungbe said.
Editted by AbdulFatai Abdulrahman