From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has commenced a 5-day training for staff of Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on data and information systems for policy planning and tracking in Nigeria.
The workshop, which commenced on Monday in Calabar, is a five-day training under the TCP project and will train participants on data generation and analysis.
It also aims at strengthening Institutional Capacity for Improved Data and Information Systems for Policy Planning and Tracking the SDGs in Nigeria.
Speaking in Calabar at the event, the FAO representative in Nigeria, His Excellency Fred Kaferro, said the training aims at reinforcing competencies in national MDAs in their states and the FCT.
Kaferro, who spoke through the Alphonsus Onwuemeka (the focal point of the TCP Project in FAO), said trainees will be exposed to the latest technology in data generation and analysis.
‘The training will strengthen institutional capacity for improved data and information systems for policy planning and tracking the SDGs in Nigeria,’ he said.
‘The project is to reinforce the competencies of the national MDAs and similar institutions in the three selected states and the FCT in data generation and analysis.
‘This is to ensure consistent and systematic data generation for improved planning and tracking the implementation of SDGs.
‘They will be exposed to the use of Open Data Sources Kit (ODK) Technology as well as Cost-free R- package and python software for data generation and analysis,’ he said.
He tasked participants to act as champions of data and statistics generation in their respective units.
Alsop speaking, Okon Onwuna the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Value Chain Development, commended the FAO for helping the state improve on its value chains.
He said the right data is the key to agricultural development and this will help the state plan ahead.
On her part, Inyang Asibong the Commissioner, Ministry for international Donor Support, said Cross River State is fortunate to be among the three states selected for the exercise.
She said data and statistics play major roles in providing clear objectives and numeral evidence of a situation.
She added that without data it means nothing has been done and it’s the single most important factor in any organisation.
On his part, Dr Francis Ntam the Chief Economic Adviser to the governor and Vice Chairman of the state planning commission, who spoke through Joseph Agim, a director of planning, said more personnel from the state will benefit from the FAO manpower development project.
According to him, the partnership between the state government and the FAO aligns with the vision of the governor.