NIGERIA POPULATION CENSUS; THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NATION EVEN DEVELOPMENT - POP News

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Saturday, December 31, 2022

NIGERIA POPULATION CENSUS; THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NATION EVEN DEVELOPMENT

 NIGERIA POPULATION CENSUS; THE FOUNDATION FOR THE NATION EVEN DEVELOPMENT



Population census is the foundation of our participatory democracy. It serves as a basis for equitable representation, resource distribution, civil rights protections, housing, education funding and more. The need for an accurate, reliable and acceptable population census in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised. This concern has become of even greater significance in the face of the dynamism of modern day socio-economic planning both at the macro and micro levels. In Nigeria, planning for socio-economic development has been adversely affected by the inadequacy, obsolescence and unreliability of available demographic data. Past national development plans in Nigeria have failed simply because of lack of demographic data for planning. Demographic data derived from population censuses are useful to every government for planning.


The last time Nigeria conducted a headcount was in 2006. Nigeria is supposed to conduct a headcount every ten years. It is especially worrying because a subject such as population census shouldn't be treated with such levity. The long interval between censuses means that Nigeria has no continuity in census taking.


First, it is only common sense that a nation knows the exact number of people resident in the country as it helps in nation planning. The government of the nation will be able to make accurate plans for the entire nation. It won't just be guess or projected planning. It'll be well-detailed, direct, and all-reaching. Knowledge of the population of a country allows the government to be able to forecast the economic needs, reality, and future of the nation and then allows them to take proactive steps in that regard. The direction of the nation will be clear because of the reality of the nation and the number of people there to see. It'll allow the government to be able to access the economic needs of the country and take favourable economic decisions to that effect.


Population census is the tool for an effective database of all categories of humans resident in a country. With a headcount, the country can have an accurate number of immigrants, citizens, employed, unemployed, disabled, etc. This brings clarity. The government will know who they're catering to and the best possible ways to go about it. Statistics is the base of accuracy. Once a nation has the data of all the people residing in a country, it can only be imagined how that goes a long way to ensuring sanity, order, and proper organization in the country. It is to this end that Nigeria should not delay conducting another population census. Perhaps, it could be the genesis of the solution to Nigeria's multifaceted troubles. Hence, without further delay, and with the obvious advantage of such an exercise, Nigeria should conduct a population census.


Since Nigeria attained political independence in 1960, all efforts at conducting population census have met with serious problems. Consequently, planning for socio-economic development of the nation has been consistently affected by the inadequacy, obsolesce and unreliability of available demographic data. Past national development programs have failed partly because of lack of demographic data for planning. Hence, there is the need for an accurate, reliable and acceptable population census for the country. This concern has become of even greater significance in the face of the dynamism of modern-day socio-economic planning both at the macro and micro levels.


The urgency of Nigeria’s development needs has generated concern not only in Nigeria itself but also throughout the world. The efforts at self-reliant growth must proceed at a very rapid pace if the welfare of Nigerian citizens is to be improved. However, the basic ingredients for planning for development, that is, population data, including the actual number of the population and its composition according to age, sex among others remain largely unknown. Available estimates of the total population in the country, in each state and in each local government area are mainly guesses or taken from the previous and outdated records.


The ongoing efforts by the National Population Commission (NPC) toward conducting a census in 2023, cannot be more untimely and inappropriate, being so close to the next general election; and at a time of critical security challenges afflicting practically the entire country. These factors will undoubtedly affect the census’ outcome adversely.

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