The federal government through the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the MDGs (OSSAP-MDGs), has introduced Nigeria’s first country-wide data portal, the Nigeria Millennium Development Goals Information System (NMIS) for access to data on education, health and water.
According an official of the MDGs office, Chioma Itodo, the new portal allows Nigerian states plan better based on data available on the NMIS.
She stated that the NMIS captures baseline data on over 260, 000 public and private health and education facilities in the 774 Local Government Areas of the country, as well as water facilities constructed within both facilities.
The DFID is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid. The goal of the department is to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty.
“Using the map feature, a user can locate and view a description of facilities, indicating the services offered, the management structure and the capacity in terms of available human resources. For example users are able to view primary schools and hospitals in their villages including their mother’s primary school.
”The NMIS provides baseline data on areas of health, education and water, which offers an excellent opportunity to a new government to measure the change they plan to bring about as they plan for development. With the current burden on states resulting from the fiscal crunch, there is now an overwhelming need for states to identify and focus on priority areas.
”Also as MDGs transitions to SDGs and the emphasis on a data revolution, the NMIS can be a useful medium to support data requirement for planning the SDGs.
”States can use the baseline data as a basis for developing their state plans and medium term sector strategies (MTSS) which can be monitored to ascertain progress made per time.
”For example, a planning officer in the Ministry of Health in Enugu state trying to identify projects for inclusion in the sector’s MTSS can download data from the NMIS to run the analysis below. At a glance the officer is able to identify LGAs with the highest need for emergency transport and is able to allocate resources accordingly. This also helps to reduce waste by preventing project duplication,” she said.
She explained that the data available for download on its site is relevant to undergraduates, graduates and post-graduate students, who need data for their thesis especially those relating to health, education and water facilities in the country.
Itodo added that Civil Society organisations can also use the NMIS as a powerful advocacy tool whereby citizens can hold their government accountable based on NMIS data.