President Muhammadu Buhari has cast doubts on data provided by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other foreign bodies regarding Nigeria’s economy, saying they are unreliable.
The president made this known as he set an agenda for members of the newly constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), during their inauguration on Wednesday, October 9, 2019.
In a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President, Buhari was quoted to have said most of the country’s economic data are developed abroad and are of wild estimates, thus the need to develop reliable data that will serve as a proper reflection of happenings in the country cannot be over-emphasised.
He said, ”As you develop your baseline study, I would like you to focus on primary data collection.
”Today, most of the statistics quoted about Nigeria are developed abroad by the World Bank, IMF and other foreign bodies.
”Some of the statistics we get relating to Nigeria are wild estimates and bear little relation to the facts on the ground. This is disturbing as it implies we are not fully aware of what is happening in our own country.”
Buhari addressing the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 [Presidency]
The president maintained that the Nigerian government can only plan realistically when reliable data is available.
Addressing the council members further, President Buhari recalled that “in 2017, when the National Emergency Management Agency took over the feeding of some IDPs in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the amount we spent was significantly lower than the claims made by these international organisations.”
”Today, we hear international organisations claiming to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on IDPs in the North East. But when you visit the camps, you rarely see the impact,“ he lamented.
In order to improve the well-being of millions of poor and vulnerable Nigerians, the president made known that he had directed the new Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Faruk, to commence a comprehensive data-gathering exercise in all Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in the North East.
The region has been devastated by a terrorist insurgency by Boko Haram for the past 10 years. The terrorist group has killed tens of thousands of Nigerians since 2009 and displaced millions.