The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve data collection and analytics on port related activities.
The MoU was signed on Tuesday in Abuja by Mr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General of the Federation and Hadiza Usman, Managing-Director, NPA.
Kale said that the ports were major channels through which cargo entered and exited the country and that they were critical to the development of the transportation and storage sector of the economy.
According to him, with the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the prospects for increased trading and storage activities were 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.”
On her part, Usman said that the collaboration would result in the development of inter-agency link.
This, she said bridged identifiable gaps by collaborating in streamlining the process of data exchange, gathering, q cleansing, analysis, storage, retrieval and dissemination.
She added that the NPA would also require joint capacity building in the era of data analytics and management of such data.
“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 added that the NBS would, by the collaboration, get up-to-date trade information on port operations.
She added that it would also update its data heads specific to port operations and broaden the scope of maritime data to be collected.
Usman said that this would ensure timely access to data exchange for planning, research, monitoring, projections reporting and sustainable synergy for capacity building across the port industry.