The House of Representatives has urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to come up with a feasible time table for the conduct of a national census no later than 2020.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Rep. Ademorin Kuye (APC-Lagos) during plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday.
The motion is entitled: “Need to Commence the long Overdue National Population Census in Nigeria.”
Moving the motion, Kuye said the accurate population of the country was important to ensure basic provisions and Infrastructure were made available to citizens.
The lawmaker said that relying on the figures from organisations such as United Nations made planning difficult.
“The 1952/1953 census was the first modern, national and carefully planned census, however, its outcome was not generally accepted as it was not conducted simultaneously throughout the country.
“Other population census that took place at various times between 1953, 1962/1963 and 1973 were well planned,” he observed.
He also expressed concern that the last national census was conducted in 2006 and called for the conduct of census at given intervals, like elections.
He said the conduct of a census was important to ascertain the country’s actual population and do away with projected figures.
The house also expressed worry that Nigeria would be lacking in the statistical data of its citizenry politically and economically if adequate measures were not put in place to conduct population census periodically,
“The house again notes that in 2016, the World Bank estimated Nigeria’s population at 186 million and the United Nations, also in 2017, put Nigeria’s population at 180 million with a growth rate of 2.7 per cent.
“Prior to that in 2016, the former director-general of NPC had estimated Nigeria’s population to be 182 million with a growth rate of 3.5 per cent.
“The house also recalls that the national assembly had, in 2018, called for postponement of the proposed 2018 population census on the grounds that such an exercise, coming on the eve of the 2019 general elections, could end in chaos,” he said.
The lawmakers said that inadequate accurate data on the country’s population affected national planning and development on all levels.
The house, however, urged the Federal Government to provide necessary logistics for the conduct of a national census in 2020 to end uncertainties in Nigeria’s actual population.
The reps also resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to liaise with NPC, Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning and the National Bureau of Statistics to work out modalities on the conduct of a population census in 2020.
The lawmakers said the committee would liaise with other foreign donors for necessary support for the exercise.