By Isaac Anumihe
As the tenure of the Statistician General of the Federation (SGF), Dr. Yemi Kale, ends today, about five persons have been pencilled down for the plum job.
They include the former President of Nigerian Statistics Association (NSA), and a retired Director of Statistics in National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Boniface Amobi; a Professor from the Department of Statistics, University of Ilorin, Peter Osanaiye, and a director, Department of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Mohammed Musa Tumala.
Others are a retired Director and Head, Public Affairs and International Relations Unit of NBS, Mr. Henry Eteama, and a Director in charge of Macro Department in NBS, Mr. Bertram Azubuike.
A first class material, Kale who was appointed the SGF in 2011, by former President Goodluck Jonathan, to revive and inject life into the bureau, replaced Rasaq Sanusi, who was on acting capacity.
A son of a retired Army General, Kale was born on October 7, 1975 in Ogun State. Some of his achievements include the rebasing of the outdated base year of Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest economy in the world.
The rebasing captured the structural changes in the economy especially in banking, telecommunication and entertainment sector where Nigeria recorded dramatic growth in recent years.
The results were validated by a panel of local academic experts, which include Professors Olu Ajakaiye, Akpan Ekpo, Ganiyu Garba, Ayo Teriba, Yemi Fajingbesi, Doyin Salami and Adeola Adenikiju.
Kale’s achievements also include the finalisation of the broad national census of commercial and industrial businesses, use of CAPI device and established data release calendar. He equally contributed in the prompt release of Consumer Price Index (CPI). CPI measures the monthly inflation rate in Nigeria.
He was also credited to have developed an outline data portal and interactive system with social network. He introduced users’ feedback mechanism and median statistical education/interactive system.
But beyond all these achievements, Kale has his downsides. His relationship with the press, workers and even his superiors were far from being cordial.
His relationship with the Minister of National Planning and Budget, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma (his supervising minister) and some top government officials was not cordial. The accuracy of the monthly inflation has been a subject of controversy among government officials.
In the office, he is not loved by many because he came with over 50 aides and he concentrated all the promotions and foreign trips on the few staff.
Just recently, the workers of a private security firm in the bureau went on strike over unpaid seven months salary.
The outgoing SGF was highly skeptical of the press, a situation that has heightened speculations that he has a lot to hide.
At 41, analysts maintain that Kale did not have 15 years cognate experience as enshrined in Part IV, Section 2 of the Statistics Act 2002, when he joined the bureau five years ago.