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Data is key to achieving SDGs, say experts


Assistant Director, Lagos Bureau of Statistics; Mr. P. K. Olowu, Researchers, University of Lagos, Mrs. Toyin Yusuff, and Mr. Stephen Oladayiye, Geographic Information System (GIS) and Profiling Data Analyst, Justice Empowerment Initiative (NGO), Mr. Joseph Aro, Facilitator and Lead Researcher, SCiLeD Programme, University of Lagos, Dr. Peter Elias, Research Fellow, University of Lagos, Dr. Iniobong John, Town Planner, Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency, Mrs. Bunmi Alugbin, and Assistant Director, Lagos State Urban Renewal Agency, Mr. Goriola Obafemi PHOTO: MERCY JERRY

The Head, Department of Geography, University of Lagos, Prof. Ademola Omojola, has said data is vital for progress and transparency towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria.

At a two-day stakeholders workshop on “Standardising City-Level Data Gathering for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals” organised by Lagos State Urban Studies Group (LUSG) of the department, Omojola said data was particularly critical to achieving number 11 of the SDGs, which is sustainable cities and communities.

“For a highly populated city as Lagos, data is vital for making cities inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable. Water is likely to be the first crisis the state is going to have if data isn’t gathered and utilized.” The don stressed the need for data scheming (purpose of the collated data), sourcing, gathering, validation, sharing and utilization. “Data is perishable. If data is collated and not put to good use, they die. Value is only added when we share and utilise data, however, at a monetary or service cost”.

The Director Lagos State Bureau of Statistics, Mr. Bashiru Oseni-Ope, who represented the commissioner, corroborated. He said “data from Bank Verification Number (BVN), vehicle registration, national identity card and others can be collated and integrated into a unified system”.The workshop, which was geared towards educating agencies and other stakeholders on the importance of data in driving sustainable development in the state, had representatives of various agencies in the attendance.

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