Concerns Raised Over Shortage of Time Series Analysis Experts in Nigerian Universities
Concerns Raised Over Shortage of Time Series Analysis Experts in Nigerian Universities, prominent university professors have voiced their apprehension regarding the scarcity of experts specializing in time series analysis, a field crucial for understanding data trends over time, within Nigerian universities.
This concern was articulated during a two-week training workshop titled “Foundation Postgraduate Course in Time Series Analysis and Application,” organized by the National Mathematical Centre (NMC) in Abuja.
Professor Eleazar Nwogu, a distinguished faculty member from the Department of Statistics at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, underscored the significance of Time Series Analysis. He explained that it involves the meticulous examination of data recorded over time, encompassing a wide array of subjects such as birth rates, economic fluctuations, sales and distribution patterns, government budget allocations, inflation rates, exchange rates, education statistics, and health metrics.
“For instance,” Professor Nwogu elucidated, “if one aims to plan for future education or healthcare, it is imperative to have access to reliable data. By scrutinizing previous expenditure in these domains, we can make informed projections for the future.”
He emphasized that effective planning and budgeting hinge on the availability and proper utilization of accurate data, highlighting the pivotal role Time Series Analysis plays in this process.
“In essence, what we are accomplishing with time series is providing a robust framework for future planning,” Professor Nwogu affirmed.
Professor Adebowale Adejumo, a distinguished figure from the Department of Statistics at the University of Ilorin, echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the universal applicability of the course.
Adejumo lamented Nigeria’s lag in data collection, stressing the importance of timely data for informed decision-making. He asserted that had Nigeria been more diligent in monitoring various activities, the nation might be in a different position today.
While commending the workshop’s impact on postgraduate students’ knowledge and skills, Dr. Adekunle Adebayo of Lagos State University of Education, Oto-Ijanikin, called for the continuation of such training programs.
He also implored the government to allocate sufficient funds to the National Mathematical Centre, given the scarcity of experts in time series analysis within Nigerian universities.
Dr. Awogbemi Adeyeye, the Course Coordinator of the Statistics Department/Programme at NMC, elucidated that the workshop was orchestrated to address the dearth of skilled professionals in Time Series Analysis within tertiary institutions in Nigeria. He further stated that the objective was to equip participants with the capacity to engage meaningfully with practitioners and professionals on matters pertaining to time series.
It is worth noting that, despite receiving an overwhelming 460 applications, the Centre could only accommodate 25 participants due to financial constraints, thereby offering the training free of charge.
In his concluding remarks, Professor Promise Mebine, the Director/Chief Executive of NMC, urged participants to put their newfound knowledge to practical use for the betterment of the nation.
The participants were carefully selected from each of the six geopolitical zones of the country, representing a diverse cross-section of Nigeria’s academic landscape.