The Nigerian Statistical Association (NSA) member, Christopher Okafor, has disclosed association initiated programme which was aimed at bring statistics to fore, and as well contribute to growth of economy.
Okafor, who was former president of the association, said that the association would start the program by supporting educational institutions offering statistics as a course and that as part of the initiative, the body had had organised maiden statistics competition for 40 final year students from 20 tertiary institutions across the country for five days.
Serving as chairman of the competition, NSA former president, speaking on the development on Sunday in Abuja, said that 20 Institutions, eight polytechnics and 12 universities, participated in the programme, each with three members.
According to him, each institution fielded two competitors with a coach, making a total of 40 students and the competition involved two sets of examination in the theory of probability for five hours each, taken in two days.
“This is a starting point for tertiary institutions, it is supposed to be an annual event but it requires some funding. It has started now and it will continue. The competition was held to promote excellence among the students,’’ he said.
He hinted that 20 participants won different categories of medals including three gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals.
“ Emmanuel Ugwu emerged overall best out of 40 final year students of statistics, while the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), emerged best institution,” added Okafor.
In addition, he said NSA had been working on ways to restore statistics as a subject in secondary schools.
Meanwhile in a communiqué issued at the end of the competition, the participants recommended that specific areas should be given as syllabus in future competitions.
They observed that the area of study which was probability theory was vast and was not properly defined to take cognisance of differences in curricular of the polytechnic and university.
“Questions taken on day 1 and 2 were limited to same core themes for example; questions number two and eight for day 1 and 2 respectively.
“Thus, narrowed knowledge to those who did well in the first paper.
“For a National competition of these nature, the absence of corporate bodies was worrisome,’’ the participants noted.
They, however, thanked NSA for initiating such a loadable programme and also called for improvement in publicity in the subsequent competitions.
The NSA was founded in 1976 as a non-profit making professional body comprising Statisticians, Economists, Planners, Demographers, Analysts and corporate organisations with interest in Statistics.
The Association engages in generating interest in Statistics, professional development, retraining of users and producers of statistics.
It provides sound information base to enhance policy formulation and strategic planning in the public and private sector of the national economy.