Stakeholders call for adoption of global best practices in GDP, CPI report

Stakeholders have called for the adoption of global best practices in the rebasing of the Consumer Price Index(CPI) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

They said this at a Sensitisation Workshop on the Rebasing of Nigeria’s CPI and GDP organised by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in Abuja on Thursday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that CPI and GDP rebasing is an exercise carried out to ensure that the methodological basis upon which they are constructed is robust, logical, and consistent with global best practices.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Adeyemi Adeniran, said collaborating with stakeholders in the rebasing of the CPI and GDP would help ensure global best practices were achieved.

‘It is always our pleasure that when we are having a significant statistical exercise like this to have people that are more knowledgeable in the subject matter to make comments.

‘Also, to give us insights into some of the areas we may have not taken care of.

‘ We are happy that we are achi
eving the objective of this workshop by having different comments from different people on what we need to and how we need to improve on our methodology and approach.’

Adeniran said at the culmination of the process, critical stakeholders would once again be invited to a validation session where the preliminary results would be deliberated before the final public dissemination.

Mr Muhammad Abdullahi, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)’ s Economic Policy, said the NBS must ensure they adopt global best practices in their rebasing efforts.

Abdullahi, represented by Dr Ozoemena Nnaji, said: ‘We must ensure the data we produce is reliable, timely and accurate. That is the only way we can impact policy.’

He said the CBN would continue to collaborate with the NBS to produce timely data.

‘We want to assure you we are standing by you and with you throughout the process of the rebasing.’

Utz Pape, Lead Economists, World Bank, said it was important for each state to have its GDP, saying not being able
to disaggregate at the state level was limiting.

‘So, it is important to have state-level GDP and put them together at the national level to ensure they align with the National GDP.

‘The World Bank would continue to support the NBS in this regard and in its rebasing efforts because it would make a difference in policy formulation.’

Pape commended the NBS for its timely release of the CPI report, however, he urged the bureau to move to real-time price tracking and leverage on technology.

He added that data should be made available timely to the public and readable in different formats.

Prof. Ode Ojowu, a Professor of Economics, also called for state-level GDP which he said would help achieve policy details down to the state level.

Prof. Uwaoma Uche, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Gregory University Uturu Abia, called on the NBS to leverage new media, publicity and technology.

‘From my research in Nigeria, it is estimated that 120 million unique users are currently engaging several social media

‘ The NBS can create several platforms in the social media space and do its electronic data gathering for its activities and operations.’

Dr Ayo Anthony, Head, Prices Statistics Division, NBS, said the rationale and justification for the CPI rebasing include changes in item weights of individual goods and services over time and inclusion of new items in the CPI Basket.

‘ Others are the changes in consumption patterns over time, the price reference period should not be more than five years compared to the current period.

‘Also for qualitative input into the formulation of monetary policy and for comparability of the index with other countries.’

Baba Madu, Head, National Accounts Division, NBS, said the rationale for rebasing the GDP was to reflect the recent structure of the economic changes in terms of production and consumption patterns.

He said it was also because of alterations in the variety of products and services due to technological innovations and development and to inform policy dec
isions and programme design

‘Also to incorporate those economic activities that were not in existence at the old base year or were not adequately being captured within the GDP compilation framework,’ he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria