To improve data collection and analytics on port related activities, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abuja.
The MoU was signed by the Statistician-General of the Federation, Yemi Kale and the Managing-Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman.
Speaking shortly after signing the agreement, the NBS boss said that the ports are major channels through which cargo entered and exited the country and that they are critical to the development of the transportation and storage sector of the economy.
He also said that with the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the prospects for increased trading and storage activities are huge and expected to grow significantly in the coming years in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Therefore, generating and disseminating more granular information on these activities will be useful in ensuring that policymakers and managers within the sector are fully equipped with the right tools and evidence to do their work.
“Also, it will further provide a sound basis for operators and potential investors in the sector to make informed decisions on how to participate and take advantage of opportunities available within the sector.
“The output from this effort will contribute to the growing array of statistics produced by the statistical system in Nigeria and also shed more light on the important work that you do in administering port activities in Nigeria,” he said.
Bala Usman said the collaboration would bridge identifiable gaps by streamlining the process of data exchange, gathering, cleansing, analysis, storage, retrieval and dissemination.
“Also, the creation of joint data verification and mechanism in order to have feedback on data and output among the items of collaboration between the two agencies.
“In addition, I would like to specifically request the collaboration of automation of data collection.
“This is an area that we would really require support towards automation in our data collection, which would eliminate errors and also have live and up-to-date information when required.
“So I would like to specifically ask for that area of support to guide the NPA in the deployment of automation as it relates to data gathering,” she said.
She said NBS would receive up to date trade information on port operations, noting that it would also update its data heads specific to port operations and broaden the scope of maritime data to be collected.
This, she said, would ensure timely access to data exchange for planning, research, monitoring, projections reporting and sustainable synergy for capacity building across the port industry.
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