Nigeria Plans Census for 2022 pending Buhari’s Approval

Nigeria’s National Population Commission (NPC) has disclosed plans to conduct a national census in Nigeria by the first quarter of 2022 if presidency gives the approval

Abdulmalik Durunguwa, a Federal Commissioner with the NPC, and Chairman Public Affairs Committee of the Commission on Tuesday said the commission is ready for the population count but will wait for the go-ahead by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“…We are pleading with all Nigerians to give us the support so that we can be able to conduct this census by 2022, that is the first quarter, that is our target.

“We hope the government and Mr President will give us the go-ahead so that we can be able to carry out this exercise.”

Durunguwa however suppose that the proposed population count exercise will be well received by Nigerians as it will be technologically driven.

“The latest technology we are using is a technology that is giving us no much question to be asked because it is already tried, tested by this our enumeration of area demarcation.”

“I wish we’ll have time where we’ll display it to Nigerians to see what we are doing and it will go a long way in convincing people that the population commission is ready by what we have to be able to conduct a census that cannot be disputed.

“This world is going technologically and we can’t be left behind in this country, we also have to key in, so that is why we are deploying the latest technology in trying to make sure that the exercise we are doing right now is well taken care of so that when Mr President gives us the go-ahead to conduct the census, we can say it’s good to go.

“The government cannot be able to plan without having the actual figure you are working with and that is why it is very important with the kind of president we have on ground to be able to have this go-ahead to conduct this census.

“The international community are waiting and everybody is preparing to see how Nigeria will approach this pattern and we are pleading to all Nigerians to give us the support so that we can be able to see if we can be able to conduct this census by 2022, that is the first quarter, that is our target.

“We hope the government and Mr President will give us the go-ahead so that we can be able to carry out this exercise.”

All previous censuses in Nigeria were conducted in an environment fraught with political interference. This was because there was an incentive to inflate population figures.

As people became more aware of the importance of population size for political representation in a federal system, the census became more problematic. There was also competition within states and among communities to inflate their population so as to get more government resources.

The most recent census in Nigeria was conducted in 2006 and was plagued by political interference from design through to implementation. The population estimate was 140 million people. The results were criticised and subject to litigation.

It is expected that planning for the next census must address critical issues like the need to strengthen the scientific structure of the commission among other equally important ones.

 

 

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