The Gombe State Bureau of Statistics has called for stronger inter-agency collaboration between State, Federal and International organisations, in order to collect the accurate data needed for research, planning and interventions in the State and the nation.
Speaking with journalists, the Gombe State Statistician General, Mohammed Gidado said the bureau was not getting the desired collaboration from the ministries and departments, as well as other non-governmental and international organisations in the State.
This is despite having the law requirement of being the first point of collaboration in matter regarding data.
Gidado said Gombe State was the only State in the zone with a designated Bureau of Statistics Office in the North East and equally gave data to neighbouring States, but that Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and other organisations in the States had refused to collaborate with them.
“For now, Gombe is the only State having a functional bureau of statistics in the North East region and we happened to be the State in the Federation and all the States are expected to have State Bureau of Statistics, so that they will collaborate with the National Bureau of Statistics and have a National Statistical System, in terms of health, education, agriculture, in terms of social facility, transport, aviation, money, administration and so many other things,” Gidado said.
He said the staff strength of the Gombe State Bureau of Statistics is 58 and is required to cover 114 wards in the 11 local government areas, 84 MDAs, with only two vehicles and a few motorcycles.
Because of this, the office has only one staff for each local government area, which according to Gidado, it’s grossly inadequate in bringing out the required data needed for development.
“There are grossly inadequate equipment like computer, laptops and other assorted equipment, especially the one the bureau if in dire need of called Computer Personal Assisted Interview. We want to migrate from the issue of collecting data from pencil and paper to digital. Staff goes to a remote area, collects data and transmit it from there in the form of a text or our server, that will reduce the cost of doing the business. The bureau is operating with constraint, especially funding, We need to have money to buy the equipment, go where the data is happening, process it, you need to have a lot of staff to so this work and make it meaningful,” Gidado stated.
He also said it was not getting the required collaboration of the ministries and departments, as well as the local governments and other international and non-governmental organisations in the State, which often produce data that were not official figures
“Another challenge is that, the law establishing Gombe State Bureau of Statistics states that every MDA , UN agency, governmental and non-governmental, if you are coming to Gombe to collect data, partly or totally, you must collaborate with the Bureau of Statistics, but they have refused to collaborate with us. UNICEF is one of them, National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission and these are at the federal level, they come to Gombe, because they have money and they are controlling the budgetary provision, they do what they want to do, at the end of the day, they come out with a figure, Gombe is this, Gombe is that and that’s why the law establishing Bureau of Statistics says any official figure of statistics, not from this place. It is a squash, it is not an official figure,” Gidado said.
The Gombe State Statistician General also said recently launched Basic Education Service Delivery for all programme being executed in State.
He said it was also not collaborating in the enumeration of the out-of-school children in the State, but called on the relevant authorities to collaborate in getting the actual data to tackle the challenge of out-of-school-children in the State.