March 2019 KDBS Newsletter
Publication date: 21st March 2019
The foundation was recently laid for the Sustainable Development Goals data laboratory in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria. Named after United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed and with funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this project’s symbolism goes beyond the building and the computing systems it is expected to house in a couple of months.
It is indicative of Kaduna state’s approach and commitment to putting the SDGs into action. In short: data first. That Kaduna, one of the large states in Nigeria’s underdeveloped north, is fraught with negative indicators surprises no one. However, no one could clearly enumerate the scope of the problem as a result of a data glut.
Investments in establishing Nigeria’s statistical system became the utmost priority of our newly formed government in 2015, the same year the SDGs became a thing. Kaduna had enacted a statistics agency law two years before then but a wide gap existed in terms of the capacity of the agency to function. Also, there was a lack of institutional recognition for the role of data in planning and monitoring in the government. The state had to rely on generic data provided by the National Bureau of Statistics