Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
As Nigeria is preparing to conduct the next population census, the Federal Government has been urged to ensure it develops accurate database of the citizens in order to have credible and accurate population figure.
The Special Adviser to the Ogun State governor on Public Communication, Remmy Hazzan, stated this while speaking at the 10th Training and Induction Ceremony of the Association of Applied Information Management Professionals (AIMP) at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
He said that the country may not be able to have correct population census without accurate database of its citizens, declaring that no economic planning would work in Nigeria, if government lacks the demographic information of the people.
The Special Adviser who was also inducted as a Fellow of AIMP, recalled how it was difficult by the Ogun state government to distribute palliatives to the vulnerable people during the COVID-19 lockdown, due to lack of accurate database, calling on the federal and state governments to develop databases where accurate information required for economic and social planning can be sourced.
“Nigeria lacks credible database. And we are long overdue for this as a nation. Without accurate database, we cannot plan for our citizens as a country. Apart from that, census may not give us the real figure of our population without database, particularly when census has even been politicised.
“As a state government, we found it difficult to get the number of vulnerable people to give palliatives to during the COVID-19 lockdown because there was no database. We had to resort to using religious organisations and Community Development Associations before we could distribute these palliatives.
“Therefore, it is expedient on us as a nation that we develop accurate database where information about citizens can be sourced, to aid and guide the government in planning, both economic and social”. He stated.
While stressing that data gathering, analysis and application should be restructured in the country, Hazzan urged the AIPM to reach out to other professional bodies on the need to embrace and inculcate applied information management technology into their operations.
Speaking on the theme, ‘The Role of Information Management Technology in Retooling the Nation’s Workforce and Encouraging Intellectual Capacity Development’, a one time Commissioner for Information in Ogun state, Niran Malaolu, decried what he described as “poor planning and lack of data” in the country.
According to him, “Information Management Technology must be applied to all the sectors of the country as a tool for change”, adding “through this, we can plan properly as a nation and change our narrative to socioeconomic betterment”.