The Imo State Bureau of Statistics (SBS) has kicked off reforms that would modernize and strengthen it to play its role more effectively and efficiently as a world-class leading authority on data generation and dissemination.
The newly appointed Director General of the bureau, Enyinna Amadikwa, disclosed this during his maiden monthly meeting with the Board of Directors – the first of such meeting in the last five years, following the abandonment of the bureau by the immediate past administration of Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha.
The changes, the DG disclosed, were to support the state government in achieving proper planning; transformation of the public sector; and actualization of the Rebuild Imo Agenda target.
While assuring the staff and directors of the bureau, the new DG said that the governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, “is a man that is bent on data, due process, continuity of what is good and, new technological ideas.”
He also expressed confidence that the bureau would be adequately funded soon.
The changes, which had been prepared through extensive consultations with data producers and users, he stated, “provides a mechanism for statistical advocacy; a strategic trajectory defining where the Imo State Bureau of Statistics (IMBOS) should be in four years’ time; a ‘road map’ and milestones for getting there and; a comprehensive and unified framework for assessing user needs on a continuing basis and meeting these needs.”
Others include mechanisms for feedback and learning; framework for mobilizing, harnessing and leveraging resources (both in the state and nationally) and energies, and; mechanisms for the creation of quality awareness and enhancement. This takes into account the two-tier government structure involving the state and local government area.
“The changes we are announcing today are about so much more than new structures, they’re about changing the DNA of the Bureau to drive a measurable impact in the lives of the people we serve,” said Amadikwa.
“Our vision remains the same as it was when the Bureau was established in 2010; but the world has changed prompting us to start to articulate new long-term vision for what the world needs us to do now: a proactive, coordinated, well-managed and resourced system capable of meeting statistical data and information needs of the Imo society towards sustainable development, poverty reduction and geometric wealth creation.
The DG also shared his Plan Implementation which will involve:
· Building consensus around the existing Statistics Act of 2007. The Act which provides a legal basis for statistical operations in the state proposes, among other things, creation of an autonomous modern, state-of-the-art IT-strategy-focused and responsive agency, the Imo State Bureau of Statistics to, inter alia, coordinate the State Statistical System;
· Creating Plan-supporting organizational structures including Management teams, Departmental teams, Standing Committees and temporary working groups to handle specific cross-functional tasks; setting up a Steering Committee on the Statistical Master Plan; establishing a Master Plan Implementation Unit to coordinate and manage day-to-day activities and especially the various donor-funded projects;
· Strategic alignment to be achieved by educating everyone in the Bureau and all stakeholders in the IMSS (including policy and decision – makers) about the Plan, its strategies and how to achieve them; managing change in such a way that change-oriented thinking becomes a habit for everybody and that individuals can see change as an opportunity to enrich their careers and personal lives rather than a threat;
· Making the new Bureau an information-age strategic learning organization in order to achieve good outcomes in different work areas
· Preparing business plans or annual work programmes and budgets, with appropriate mechanisms for monitoring and assessing progress; and
· Mobilizing technical assistance especially in the early stages of Plan implementation for in-process guidance and hands-on training of staff to build work-place skills and competencies.
The 14 Directors in attendance at the meeting expressed optimism over the new DG’s ability to actualize the core values of the Imo State Bureau of Statistics which include increased demand for and supply of good quality official statistics, and ensuring credibility and integrity of such statistics.
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