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Federal Office of Statistics (Reviewed, 11th May 2001) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

Brief History    Mission    Vision

Responsibilities/Functions    Contacts/Addresses    Important Economic Indicators (Separate page)

Brief History

Prior to 1947, there was no recognised body responsible for statistical activities in Nigeria although the population census, the most important and oldest statistical exercise in Nigeria, was conducted in 1866 for the municipality of Lagos, based on the Act enacted for that purpose in 1863. Population census and external trade statistics were the first set of official statistics to be developed in Nigeria. 

In 1947 however, a section of the Department of Customs and Excise was established as the nucleus of a full-fledged Department of Statistics enjoying the status of a department (unit of government service then). In 1949, the department was expanded and re-organised on a more permanent basis and a Government Statistician was appointed to head it. In 1960 when ministerial approach to government was adopted, the department was placed under the Federal Office of Statistics, enjoying the status of an extra-ministerial department. Over the years, changes in the headship of FOS has followed changes in headship of professional cadre in the Federal Civil Service from Government Statistician in 1949 to Chief Statistician in 1960, Director of Statistics in 1976 and Co-ordinating Director of Statistics in 1984.

During its formative years, FOS restricted its activities to administrative statistics such as external trade statistics derived from customs bills of entry. Subsequently, the scope of its activities was widened to include compilation and publication of statistics on internal migration, shipping movement at Nigerian ports, tonnage of cargo carried by rail and sea, etc. In addition, it conducted a number of enquiries into issues such as retail prices, livestock and crop production, household consumption, etc. Most of these enquiries were not based on probability samples. In some cases, only respondents who were willing to participate in an enquiry were approached for interview. The greatest achievement of FOS during this period was the conduct of the 1952/1953 population census. At the creation of the National Population Commission however, FOS ceased to handle matters relating to population census while all its sample surveys have become more rigorously designed and national in coverage.

As the functions and responsibilities of FOS became varied and enlarged, it was given a legal backing in 1958 when the Statistics Act was enacted. Apart from amendments affecting population census and penalty concerning data collection and dissemination, this Act remains the main source of responsibility of the FOS and it is still very relevant. 

Also in the 1980s, the office through Decree 42 of 1988 (the civil service review) was organised into 7 departments and 3 units with a Director General. By that Decree, statistical units were supposed to be established in every government agency as a corporate body of that establishment thereby relieving the FOS the task of pooling statisticians at the FOS.

The departments that the FOS now engage in include:

Personnel Management Dept,

Social And Economic Analysis Dept,

Corporate Planning and Technical Co-ordination Dept,

Field Service and Methodology Dept,

Finance and Supply Dept,

Census and Survey Dept,

Computer Management/Information Services Dept,

There are 3 units, which include:

Legal Services Unit

Internal Audit

Public Relations/International Units.

With these departments and units, there are 36 state offices (i.e. in all the states of the federation) and all the 4 Zonal Headquarters, and these are:

North East Jos Headquarters Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe.

North West Kaduna Headquarters FCT Abuja, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto.

South East Enugu Headquarters Abia, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Benue, Rivers.

South West Ibadan Headquarters Ogun, Oyo, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Ondo, Kwara, Lagos.

The Federal Office of Statistics has 4 training schools for the lower level staff and these are:

Federal School of Statistics, Ibadan, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos. It is a subsidiary organ of the National Planning Commission.


To provide comprehensive, timely, relevant, responsive and customer focused statistical information relating to social and economic activities as well as living conditions of the inhabitants of Nigeria;

Vigorously collaborate with all the tiers of government and their agencies in the production of administrative statistics;

Co-ordinate statistical production activities of other government agencies so as to achieve statistical orderliness; and

Promote general use and application of statistical standards


To become the best national statistical and information resource centre and a reference point in Africa, comparing favourably with the best in the world.


The responsibility of FOS covers national statistics production, which involves collaboration with other collecting agencies, developing an integrated scheme of social and economic statistics and publishing, not just only what it produces but what others produce as well, with or without comments, since it is the only agency that can legally do this.

Contacts/Offices of The Federal Office of Statistics

FOS Headquarters Office

Plot 205, Bacita Close
Gakki, Area 2,
P.M.B. 127 Abuja.

Lagos Liaison Office

36 38 Broad Street
PMB 12528
Phone: +2341-2601710-4 (5 Lines)
Fax: +2341-2635077
E-mail: [email protected]

More to follow. For now, you could email us and we will send states' addresses to you.

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