Economies in West Africa need efficient system for financial data-Says Prof. Akpan Ekpo
…Calls for understanding of linkages between data, forecasting
By David Kasim & Udeme Clement
The Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo has said that economies in West African sub-region need to have sound systems for acquiring, sharing and analyzing economic, as well as financial data, so that policy can respond quickly to unforeseen developments and steer actions to achieve the objectives.
He made this assertion, while giving his keynote address, at the regional course on modeling and forecasting for policy analysts and senior economists, organised by WAIFEM, at the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, training centre in Lagos.
According to him, “When sufficient data are available, policy makers should make use of econometric techniques and models for a better understanding of their economies.”
He added, “These techniques should be used to support good economic analysis, not just as substitute for it. Therefore, it is important to understand the linkages between data, economic methods, forecasting, analysis and policy decision. But we have to bear in mind that data and econometric methods have their own limitations. That is why they are usually supplemented by expert opinion and informed judgment”.
He pointed out, “The importance of econometric modeling and forecasting for policy analysis cannot be overemphasized. It helps in understanding the operation of an economy and enhances the policy and decision making process both at the macro and micro levels”.