President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu today emphasised the importance of data in policy formulation for the growth of the country.
The duo stated this today at the Book Presentation of “Nigerian Public Discourse: The Interplay of Empirical Evidence and Hyperbole”, written by the Former Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, held at Eko Hotel and Suite, Victoria Island, adding that no developing country can succeed without adequate and well-informed data.
President Tinubu, who was represented at the book presentation by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, added that his administration must engage in evidence-based discussion and data-reliant decision-making, hence the need for accurate data that will be used for better policy formulation and execution.
He added that the country is currently living through one of the most challenging periods in modern history, stressing that the world is changing all around and amidst the global trauma, the country is confronted by different policies and decisions that must be made to ensure that the generations, now and future, are in an appropriate prospect.
“As citizens become more interested in governance, the government should ensure that engagement with citizens springs with shared agreement on what the truth is, what is real and what is not”, said Tinubu.
While stressing the importance of accurate information in policy formulation and national development, the President, however, berated the menace of social media in the dissemination of fake and wrong information which has almost torn the country apart, stressing the need to regularise the framework of news dissemination on social media to avoid mis-information in the country.
“Social media has become a societal menace and must be regulated. Many people do not understand that once the send button is hit, there is a potential to reach millions of people around the world which is capable of causing great danger not just in society but even unintended consequences to the individuals who are receiving information that may include security of life”, he said.
The President commended the author for putting in book form his thoughts and experience garnered both as a governor and member of the federal executive council. He, therefore, enjoined others to do the same.
Speaking at the event, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat noted that accurate data will help in finding lasting solutions to myriads of challenges facing the nation, saying “For a developing country like us, part of the problem we have is that we don’t have data, which is very crucial for policy formulation for national development”.
While stressing the importance of data, the Governor noted that “deterministic data is essential even in our daily lives, even on issues such as building buildings require correct data to know the threats”.
He further stated that the state government recognises the importance of history and data and it is for this reason that it is compulsory for every project carried out in the state, to have an ‘as built drawing’. Citing the ongoing rail line on water construction as an example, the Governor said the ability to store such a record is very important for the next generation.
In his remarks, the Author and Former Minister for Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola disclosed that the Book was written based on his 21 years of experience as a public officeholder holder highlighting different public issues ranging from providing 17 million houses to resolving housing deficient in the country to rent collection frameworks between landlords and tenants, cart pushers on the highways or managing refuse dumped in broad daylight, thereby obstructing a lane which harms management of transportation.
He added that the book is intended to provoke serious conversation about the country and to elicit more serious actions. “My joy is that the conversation has just started, and by and large, we will get good and positive results in our quests for national development”, said Fashola.