Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives, yesterday, urged the Federal Government to put machinery in place to conduct a national census before the end of 2020.
The House also resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to liaise with the National Population Commission (NPC), the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, as well as the National Bureau of Statistics to work out modalities on how to hold a census. The ad-hoc committee is equally expected to liaise with foreign donors for necessary support for the exercise. This followed the adoption of a motion sponsored by Ademorin Kuye, on the “need to commence the long overdue national population census in Nigeria.”
Kuye, in his motion, said the country in recent time relied on projections by foreign bodies on her population for planning, because it has not had a population census since 2006.
The lawmaker stated that the need for a national census could not be overemphasised, as it was critical for national planning.
“Without a census and an accurate data in a given country, no government can provide adequately for its citizens as government requires data to know the number of children being born, the number of schools and hospitals that will be needed, how many workers are in a given town and how many foreigners are in the country, for proper provision of infrastructural facilities. Most times, Nigeria’s population is predicated on projected figures provided by foreign organizations like the United Nations, thus making planning extremely difficult in the absence of a population census, which the National Population Commission (NPC) would have been ready to conduct every ten years, as is obtainable in other countries. But it is now left to the whims and caprices of the government.”
Kuye expressed worry that if adequate measures were not put in place to conduct census at least once every 10 years, the country would not have accurate data of its citizenry.
“The last national census was conducted in 2006 and until it becomes mandatory to conduct census at given intervals like elections, Nigeria will continue to have delays in organizing national census,” he said .