Nigerians have reiterated the importance of an accurate census in the country, saying the correct figures will help the country in planning for the citizens.
They noted that Nigeria could rank third largest in the world by 2050, after China and India, according to a United Nations forecast made in 2022.
Census was last conducted in Nigeria in 2006 and it has become imperative after almost two decades. Under administration of president Mohammed Buhari almost 90% preparation were for the conduct of Census and Housing Population in 2023 but shortly, the new administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu put it on hold.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP Aerga Godwin, a graduate of Mass Communication said that a reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census’’ will help government in planning purpose for development, especially in bolstering the social security programme that targets more vulnerable Nigerians.
He said, “The country’s inability to conduct a population census in the last 17 years has created an information vacuum as the data from the last census conducted in 2006 has been rendered out of date for planning purposes. It has therefore become imperative for the nation to conduct another national census to produce a new set of demographic and socio-economic data that will provide the basis for national planning and sustainable development.
“Population is a critical factor in a nation’s efforts toward achieving sustainable development. People are both the agents and beneficiaries of the development process. Knowledge of the national population in terms of size, distribution and socio-economic characteristics is required for planning purposes. This, therefore, makes the conduct of census an essential governance activity.
“With a projected population of 216,783,381, Nigeria is the sixth most populous country in the world and the most populous country on the African continent. Due to the rapidly growing nature of the population and large proportion of the youthful population, Nigeria is also projected to be the third most populous country in the World by the year 2050 after India and China.’’
Jemilu Mohammed, a resident of Kuje, Abuja said that the irregular and long interval of census taking in Nigeria has denied the nation the huge benefits of comprehensive baseline data for evidence-based decision-making.