Motivational Personality of the Week- Dr. Yemi Kale
Dr. Yemi Kale, born on 7 October 1975 in Ogun State, is the son of a retired Major-General and the first female two-star General in the Nigerian Army, Aderonke Kale.
- Kale holds a first-class degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and a distinction in his master’s degree programme at the same university. He got his Ph.D. in Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
- Upon completion of his studies, Dr. Kale joined Goldman Sachs, a global finance company listed by Fortune 500 as one of the best companies to work at, as an equity analyst. He also worked for several years as a quantitative analyst at Merrill Lynch Financial Services, from where he was made Group Head of Research and Investment Strategy at Investment Banking and Trust Company Plc. (now Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.).
- His works at IBTC Plc. as the Head of Research and Investment Strategy is credited for being largely responsible for the development of investment research in Nigeria.
- In his thirties, Kale was appointed Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance on domestic and international financial institutions as well as on public policy and administration. He was also appointed Technical Adviser to the Minister of National Planning on macroeconomic policy, infrastructure development and trade policy and regional integration.
- At 36, precisely in 2011, Dr. Yemi Kale was appointed as the Statistician General of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for a 5-year term, under the presidential administration of Goodluck Jonathan. Upon expiry of his first tenure in 2016, he was reappointed by President Muhammad Buhari, making him the first Chief Executive in the Agency’s history to serve two terms as Statistician General.
- At the National Bureau of Statistics, he has been applauded by both Nigerian and foreign observers for his reforms in the data process which many believe has restored sanity to the data production process in Nigeria.
- Some of his achievements include the rebasing of the outdated base year of Gross Domestic Products (GDP), which made Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest economy in the world. The rebasing captured the structural changes in the economy especially in banking, telecommunication, and entertainment sectors where Nigeria recorded dramatic growth in recent years. The results were validated by a panel of local academic experts, which include Professors Olu Ajakaiye, Akpan Ekpo, Ganiyu Garba, Ayo Teriba, Yemi Fajingbesi, Doyin Salami and Adeola Adenikiju.
- Kale is commended for introducing methodology updates, some decades old, using modern technology such as Computer Assisted Personal Interview Devices to gather data and improving platforms for data dissemination including a data portal, upgraded website and App and the use of infographics to make data easily understandable by users. Under him, timeliness of data, data quantity and quality has been greatly enhanced and data credibility improved significantly.
- Kale’s achievements also include the finalization of the broad national census of commercial and industrial businesses and established data release calendar. He is also credited to have developed an online data portal and interactive system with social network. He introduced users’ feedback mechanism and median statistical education/interactive system.
- He is highly regarded for his fierce refusal to tamper with data or rejection of the politicization of data which has gained him recognition from both pro and anti-governments stakeholders as well as the international community. In August 2016, he declared that the Nigerian economy had entered into a recession, the first time in 25 years.
- Kale was awarded the African Financial Analyst of the Year award by the African Investor magazine in 2009. Kale was also awarded the National Productivity Order of Merit for outstanding performance, professionalism and diligence in February 2017 by President Muhammad Buhari. He has served on several presidential committees and advisory bodies and is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government leadership in government programs.
- Kale is a fellow of the UK Royal Statistical Society, a member of the World Economics Association and a member of the Royal Economic Society, UK. He is also a fellow of the Nigerian Statistical Association and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Administrators and Researchers of Nigeria among others.