A statistician, Prof. Kayode Ayinde, has advocated data revolution that will change the process of periodic voters registration to a frequent registration, to enhance organised electoral process.
Ayinde, Head of Statistics Department, Federal University of Technology, Akure, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that the Federal Government should not wait till 2019 election before commencing voters’ registration for the citizens.
“There is supposed to be a structure on ground that once you are 19 years old, you should go and register without waiting for the election year.
“I remember some times in Oyo State, during a period of voters’ card registration, there was a policy that stipulated a penalty for failure to register.
“If you failed to register, you will not be allowed to go into school. Come and see how people were trooping out to register.
“If we have that kind of structure on ground, it will propel people to register.
“For instance, if I give birth today and I fail to produce a particular certificate, I am not entitled to do naming ceremony for the child.
“People will be forced to follow that structure, while in order to have the accurate numbers of births and deaths, we need to look at the structure to compile the data also,’’ he said.
According to him, data revolution means improving on the way of collecting, processing and disseminating data.
He said that before any revolution, it implied that something was actually wrong and you wanted a revolution that would make it right.
So, what we are saying is that we should improve on our attitude towards the way we collect, manage and use data.
“I will not say we are not doing well in the country, but we can do better because the impact of the data we are gathering is not felt very well.
“I believe we still have a long way to go; some of the data we collect, what is the usefulness? It is data that will guide you in planning; you don’t just wake up and start planning without data,’’ he said.
The don said that government needed to produce data that would guide in addressing high unemployment in the country.
“The point is that if we want to create job, which type of jobs do we create, for what class or group of people do we create the job?
“We don’t have statistics of the unemployed graduates, secondary and primary school leavers; we don’t know their disciplines, so what type of jobs do we want to create?
“Every year, universities will turn in their graduates; same with polytechnics, but we don’t have their statistics.
“I believe we need a statistical system where things like this will be critically looked into,’’ he said.
In addition, he advised teachers and parents to make the studying of statistics attractive to the children and youths.
Ayinde said that they must make them to understand the usefulness of statistics in nation building.
“I have parents who have seen the beauty of statistics and have made their children to study it. Why? It is because they have seen the usefulness of statistics.
“It is a challenge on our part to be able to present statistics to people, so that they will be able to see the usefulness in such a way that they will compare it to the cloth they wear.
“It is also a challenge on the part of the lecturers and who are privileged to be teaching the students as a matter of fact, everybody is a statistician.
“Everyone is a statistician, whether you like it or not, since you collect data, everybody collects data directly or indirectly,’’he said.