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By Palma Ileye

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has identified statistical data analysis and its scientific use as necessary and very important for sussessful implementation of government programmes and policies and effective service delivery, to be able to promote good governance in Nigeria.

Aregbesola made this remark yesterday, while receiving officials of the Professional Statistician Society of Nigeria who paid him a courtesy visit at his Abuja Office.

He explained that his knowledge of and use of statistical data tremendously helped him as active player at different levels of administration in life.

Saying that was the reason he, as Minister, was able to create three passport Centers (Ikoyi-Festac, Alausa, and Amuwo Odofin centres) in Lagos which helped in the decongestion of existing facilities and the reduction of passport racketeering in Nigeria.

He said given this intervention, it was unfortunate that many who do not want to follow laid down rules and procedures, still land themselves in the hands of unsucrupulous people who extort money from them.

The Minister also fondly recalled that it was because he imbibed statistical data benefits that he was able to pioneer the establishment of the State Bureau of Statistics when he was Governor of Osun as well as appointed the first State Statistician General.

“I find Statistics useful and result- oriented; and I commend it to industrialists, enterpreneurs, politicians, leaders of communities, Local Governments, States and nations.”

He equally observed that, “It is at the Federal level that there is substantial interest in statistics in the country.”

Aregbesola promised to work with the Professional Statistician society of Nigeria, despite the short term he has left; and expressed his delight that the National Assembly recently successfully passed a law that will soon transform the organization to a Chartered Institute; which he believes will augur well for the organisation.

Earlier, leader of the visting team, Professor Waheed Yahaya, said their organization was a body of professional Statisticians with responsibility for engaging in statistical research, that will assist policy makers in government, industries and non-governmental organizations in the development of the nation.

Yahaya further said they also train and mentor younger ones in the field of statistical research in the country.

He disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to congratulate the Minister on the series of transformation he brought to the Ministry of Interior, and further explore possible areas of cooperation as a lover of statistics.

He praised the Minister for applying the idea of statistical data for the decongestion of passport administration through creation of more centres in Nigeria; and for establishing the Osun State Bureau of Statistics as well as appointing the first Statiscian General for Osun State as Governor.

Those present at the event include the representative of the Director, PRS, Mr. Bello Abdulmojeed and other management staff of the Ministry.

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