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Country Profile of Nigeria

Main statistical agency
Main statistical agency name
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)

Plot 762
Independence Avenue
Central Business District
P.M.B. 127
Garki - Abuja
Web address
Position in the government
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came into being with the merger of the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) and the National Data Bank (NDB).
Organizational structure and finance
Finance and Administration Department
Demographical and Social Statistics Department
Field Service and Methodology Department
Real Sector Statistics Dept.
Economic Statistics Dept.
Information and Communication Technology Dept.
Multi-annual or annual work program
The work programme is prepared at the beginning of every year.
Main duties
The Bureau of Statistics provides comprehensive, timely, relevant, responsive and customer focused Statistical Information relating to the social and economic activities as well as conditions of the inhabitants of Nigeria.Vigorously collaborate with all the tiers of Government and their agencies in the production of administrative statistics; coordinate statistical orderliness; and promote general use of statistical standards.

Brief history and other relevant background information
Brief history and other relevant background information
Prior to 1947, there was no recognised body responsible for statistical activities in Nigeria although the population census, the most important and oldest statistical exercise in Nigeria, was conducted in 1866 for the municipality of Lagos, based on the Act enacted for that purpose in 1863. Population census and external trade statistics were the first set of official statistics to be developed in Nigeria.

In 1947 however, a section of the Department of Customs and Excise was established as the nucleus of a full-fledged Department of Statistics enjoying the status of a department (unit of government service then). In 1949, the department was expanded and re-organised on a more permanent basis and a Government Statistician was appointed to head it. In 1960 when ministerial approach to government was adopted, the department was placed under the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS), enjoying the status of an extra-ministerial department. Over the years, changes in the headship of FOS has followed changes in headship of professional cadre in the Federal Civil Service - from Government Statistician in 1949 to Chief Statistician in 1960, Director of Statistics in 1976 and Co-ordinating Director of Statistics in 1984.

During its formative years, FOS restricted its activities to administrative statistics such as external trade statistics derived from customs bills of entry. Subsequently, the scope of its activities was widened to include compilation and publication of statistics on internal migration, shipping movement at Nigerian ports, tonnage of cargo carried by rail and sea, etc. In addition, it conducted a number of enquiries into issues such as retail prices, livestock and crop production, household consumption, etc. Most of these enquiries were not based on probability samples. In some cases, only respondents who were willing to participate in an enquiry were approached for interview. The greatest achievement of FOS during this period was the conduct of the 1952/1953 population census. At the creation of the National Population Commission however, FOS ceased to handle matters relating to population census while all its sample surveys have become more rigorously designed and national in coverage.

As the functions and responsibilities of FOS became varied and enlarged, it was given a legal backing in 1958 when the Statistics Act was enacted. Apart from amendments affecting population census and penalty concerning data collection and dissemination, this Act remains the main source of responsibility of the FOS and it is still very relevant.

Also in the 1980s, the office through Decree 42 of 1988 (the civil service review) was organised into 7 departments and 3 units with a Director General. By that Decree, statistical units were supposed to be established in every government agency as a corporate body of that establishment thereby relieving the FOS the task of pooling statisticians at the FOS.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came into being with the merger of the Federal Office of Statistics (FOS) and the National Data Bank (NDB). The creation is part of the implementation of the Statistical Master Plan (SMP), a programme document of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). The document’s preparation was funded by the World Bank in 2003. The implementation is designed to span five years, 2005-2009.

Hitherto, the FOS, which had been the apex data producing agency of Government in Nigeria since 1947, had failed to meet its mandate of producing adequate, accurate and timely data needed for decision making. Falling into decay in much of the 1990s, the agency’s performance got to its lowest ebb between 2000 and 2003. Among the reasons for this appalling state were the poor attention from Government, bad management, a bloated and low quality workforce, preponderance of non-professional staff (particularly administrative and accounting personnel), archaic data production and management technologies, and low morale and productivity of workers.

All these manifested in non-production of relevant statistics for planning and evidence-based policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, or, at best, the production of data that were untimely and often without any iota of integrity. This situation necessitated the current process of reforms in the NBS.

The broad objective of the reforms in the NBS is to implement the SMP and also transform the Bureau along the dictates of the ongoing Federal Government Public Service Reform Programme. The Agency is involved in the Economic Reform and Governance Programme (ERGP) of the World Bank and the European Union’s (EU’s) EMCAP programme, which are both managed through the Federal Ministry of Finance. The goal of the entire reform programme for NBS is to transform the Agency into a world class National Statistical Office (NSO), which will be able to produce adequate, high quality and timely data relevant to the demands of users in Government, the universities and research Institutes, private sector organizations and international agencies.

Legal basis
Legal basis
The production of statistics in Nigeria is guided by the Statistics Act of 1957 and the Statistics Act of 2007.

Other producers of official statistics
Other producers of official statistics
The Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Population Commission, the relevant line ministries.

Statistical advisory bodies
Statistical advisory bodies
There is an advisory committee on statistics which meets twice in a year. It is made up predominantly of users of statistics. There is also a user-producer seminar every year. The forum provides an opportunity for a feedback of users' satisfaction with statistical products.

Data collection
Most recent population census
21-27 March 2006
Access to administrative data
Administrative data are used to a large extent in statistical production in the country.
Data confidentiality
Data are not published in a way that any body will be able to identify the establishment or individual concerned. The issue of confidentiality is strictly adhered to by the Federal Office of Statistics. Every member of staff is expected to shear to Oath of secrecy on being employed by the Office.

Data dissemination
Main publications
» Trade Statistics 1996-2005

» Price Statistics 2006

» CPI and Inflation 2006-Apr2009

» Trade Statistical News 2008

» CWIQ Flyers 2006

» Statistical Fact Sheet

» Social Statistics

» Annual Abstact of Statistics 2006

» Provisional Total 2006 Census by LGA

» National Accounts 1981-2006

» Agric Filling Data Gap1995-2006

» The Middle Class in Nigeria 2007

» Directory of Health Establishment

» External Trade Statistics 1987-2006

» Building and Construction 2007

» Facts and Figures 2007
Languages of main publications
How are data disseminated (Paper, CD Rom, Website, online databases, databanks)?
Data are currently disseminated in hard copy, newsletter, diskettes, CD-Rom and installation of website is being contemplated.

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