The 15-member Governing Board of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was on Thursday inaugurated in Abuja by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
The Minister charged the new Board to work in harmony with the management of the Bureau to achieve its goals, especially considering the important role that the NBS plays in nation building
He pointed out that the roles and responsibilities of the Governing Boards of Parastatals and Agencies as provided in their respective establishment Acts are quite distinct from the day-to-day administration of parastatals and agencies under the leadership of Chief Executives who double as Accounting Officers.
The Minister stated that strict adherence to statutory provisions by both parties will enhance harmonious relationship devoid of bickering and other unhealthy occurrences.
The NBS is one of the three parastatals under the Ministry. The other two are the National Institute for Social and Economic Research (NISER) and the Centre for Management Development (CMD). The Governing Boards of the two institutions were inaugurated on March 8, 2018.
It would be recalled that last year, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the constitution of the Boards of some Federal Government Agencies/Parastatals to provide proper governance and oversight structure for them as well as drive general policy formulation for the implementation of their management teams.
While the boards of other parastatals were immediately inaugurated, that of NBS, which requires Senate confirmation, was postponed to await that confirmation. The approval was obtained recently.
The Minister explained that the NBS is the government agency charged with the responsibility for data generation and dissemination in Nigeria. “The agency facilitates sectoral development in updating, monitoring Nigeria’s socio-economic indicators and advises the government as well as relevant stakeholders including the public and private sectors on our social rankings, etc. Considering the important role the NBS plays in nation building, the need for a supportive Governing Board cannot be over-emphasised.”
He emphasized that the appointment of the Board members is on part-time basis. “You are required to work with the management of the NBS to, inter alia, determine its mission and long-term strategy roles and responsibilities and develop strategies to promote sustainable and cost-efficient activities of the Bureau”.
In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, congratulated the members on their appointment, noting that the eventual inauguration has been long awaited since the Boards of two other agencies supervised by the Ministry had been done a year ago. “We are all happy because it has come at this auspicious time”.
He urged them to be focused and selfless in the discharge of their duties, and should bear in mind that the assignment is a call to the service of their fatherland.
The Chairman of the Board, Dr Kabiru Nakaura, thanked the President for the appointment and appreciated the Minister for the inauguration. He pledged the willingness of the Board to discharge its responsibilities creditably.
Two senior Presidency officials, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Affairs, Senator Ita Enang and the Senior Special Adviser to The President on Constitutional Matters, Mr Okoi Obono Obla, witnessed the inauguration.
The 15-member Governing Board comprises six political appointees and nine Institutional members. The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale will serve as Secretary/Member.
The other members are: Professor Moses Imokhai Momoh, Mr Adam Modu, Mr Akinola Idowu Bashiru, Chief Paul Nwafor Chukwudi, Mr Wallijoh Danladi Ahijoh. The institutional members are: Minister of Budget and National Planning, Governor of the Central Bank, Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Minister of Agriculture, Group Managing Director of NNPC, President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, President of the Nigeria Statistical Association and the Chief Executive Officer of the NBS.