• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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What you need to know about the late Simon Harry

What you need to know about the late Simon Harry

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Simon Harry, was confirmed dead on Wednesday by Ichedi Joel, the Director, Communication and Public Relations Department, in Abuja.

Joel said, “It is not a rumour anymore, the SG is dead, he died from an illness.”

Harry’s death comes less than 48 hours after The National Bureau of Statistics denied rumours of his death. On Saturday, he was claimed to be unwell and was given medical attention right away.

In August of last year, President Muhammadu Buhari named Harry as the Statistician-General of the Federation.

Harry’s Early life and Education

Born Simon Barsha Harry, he is from the northern part of Nigeria. Though much is not known about his age or early education he had a well rounded educational background

He held a B.Sc. degree in Economics with a Second Class Upper Division from the famous Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, a Post Graduate Diploma Degree in Statistics from the University of Ibadan, Masters and Doctorate degrees in Economics from the University of Abuja.


Harry has nearly three decades of statistics experience. He started as a Statistician 11 at the former Federal Office of Statistics in 1992 and ascended through the ranks to become a substantive Director of Statistics in 2019.

He was the Director of the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics’ Corporate Planning and Technical Coordination Department.

He succeeded Yemi Kale as the Federation’s Statistician-General, whose second five-year tenure ended on August 16, 2021.

He oversaw the National Statistical System’s Statistical Operations In all Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, State Statistical Agencies, and Local Government Council.

Harry served as an officer in charge of Work Programming and Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation, Development of Statistical Strategies and Frameworks, Establishment of Statistical Branches in MDAs, and Survey Design and Methodology, among other areas of statistical operations and management.

His vast knowledge in statistics had taken him to many statistical offices in Africa and beyond including Statistics South Africa, Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Ghana Statistical Service, National Institute of Statistics Kenya, Rwanda Bureau of Statistics, Ethiopian Bureau of Statistics, Office of National Statistics of the UK, Statistics Canada, France, U.S.A, Germany to mention but a few.

He also represented Nigeria in programmes organised by Pan African Institutions and global bodies such as the African Development Bank on African Information Highway Initiatives, African Union Commission on the Development of Vital Statistics and Civic Registration, and the African Centre for Statistics on Statistical Development Indicators.

Read also: Simon Harry, Nigeria’s Statistician-General is dead

Presidential Committees

Below is a list of several notable Presidential Committees he served in;

National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy

State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy

The Nigerian Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint, Data Validation and Harmonization

Design and Implementation of the National Strategy for the Development of Statistics in Nigeria

Technical Working Group on the Design of the Nigerian Development Plan and Agenda 2050

Production of the National Voluntary Report on SDGs

Integrated National Financing Framework

Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa as well as other technical task teams.

Dedications and Achievements

He was a part of the Nigerian Statistical System reform that resulted in the founding and installation of State Bureaus of Statistics at the subnational level.

Harry contributed to various reform initiatives during his civil service tenure, including the reform of the former Federal Office of Statistics, which evolved into the current National Bureau of Statistics, and the reform of the Nigerian Statistical System and its realignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Harry worked to ensure that Nigeria’s National Statistical System was aligned with the SDGs Data Requirements.

He was a life member of the Nigerian Statistical Association, the Nigerian Economic Society, the African Statistical Association and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Leadership and Governance.

He wrote widely on issues of statistical development in Nigeria and the Statistical Revolution in Africa.