The Nigerian government has spent over two hundred Billion Naira on the 2023 National Population and Housing Census before President Muhammadu Buhari announced its indefinite postponement.
The last postponement which came barely few days to the commencement of the census was predicated on the claim that the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu should be given the opportunity to make input in the exercise.
Population Census are generally conducted every 10 years with the primary objective of total enumeration of the population of a country to provide essential information on their spatial distribution, age and sex structure, as well as other key social and economic characteristics.
However, the Data gaps from poor data collection and management across all sectors in Nigeria have continued to deny the country of the benefits of its enormous resources.
Many Literature have suggested that data inadequacy in Nigeria has impacted negatively on labour economics, health care, economic planning, disaster management, and human capital development that have combined to rob Nigeria of the benefits of a growing population.
But just when the National Population Commission had tidied up plans and preparations to conduct a census that will give the Nigeria an accurate and reliable data for national planning, the federal government announced an indefinite postponement of the census which preparations have gulped over two hundred billion naira.
Nigerians say the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu should not sweep the census project under the carpet in the interest of the country.
They also say it has 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.
Lately in Nigeria, there has been inadequate data on the country’s population hence planning for sustainable development has merely been based on projections from the 2006 population census which is even fraught with controversy.
(Editor: Anoyoyo Ogiagboviogie)