The federal government has established an inter-ministerial committee on harmonisation of data collection and evaluation for the country.
Kemi Adeosun, the minister of finance, who confirmed this on Monday in Abuja, said the committee would be chaired by Yemi Kale, the statistician general of the federation and director-general of National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Adeosun said the inter-ministerial committee would serve as the clearing house and focal authority for ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government for data collection, authentication and publication.
In a release signed by Oluyinka Akintunde, her special adviser, media & communications, the minister said the committee would ensure national standards for data collection, evaluation and publication as well as regularly provide guidance to all MDAs and other stakeholders engaged in data collection, analysis and publication for policy formulation, implementation and monitoring.
“The establishment of the inter-ministerial committee has become imperative to develop the production of national statistics and avoid data production duplication,” she added.
The inter-ministerial committee is also expected to submit half-yearly reports to the minister of finance for necessary briefing of the President.
Members of the committee are Patience Oniha, director general of the Debt Management Office; Ben Akabueze, director-general of Budget Office of the federation, and representatives of the federal ministries of finance, budget and national planning, health, agriculture and rural development, labour and productivity, education, communication technology.
Other members of the committee are: representatives of the office of the secretary to the government of the federation, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Central Bank of Nigeria, Department of Petroleum Resources, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service, National Population Commission, Nigerian Police, and Nigerian Governors Forum.
There have been complaints from Nigerians on the proliferation of different agencies that collect data.
Some of the agencies and institutions are – the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Financial Institutions – Bank Verification Number (BVN), The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), Motor Vehicle Administration Agency, Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), State Inland Revenue Services .
In most instances and because the information gathering efforts are specifically targeted at the collection of information, the laws establishing these agencies, and or institutions do not make provisions for data protection or where there is any provision for such, they are grossly inadequate to guarantee against the unlawful and unauthorized access and or the misuse of such data.