Friday, 12 August 2022 04:55

Buhari: Irregular census has denied Nigeria data for evidence-based decision making

President Muhammadu says the irregualar conduct of census has denied Nigeria of data for evidence-based decison making.

Buhari said this on Thursday at the national stakeholders’ summit on the 2023 population and housing census, held at the state house, Abuja.

He said despite Nigeria’s high-ranking position on the global demographic map, its censuses have been conducted irregularly — longer than the interval recommended by the United Nations.

“This 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,” Buhari said, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman.

 

“The country’s inability to conduct a population census in the last 16 years has created an information vacuum, as the data from the last census conducted in 2006 has been rendered out of date for planning purposes.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.

“Since our assumption of office in 2015, our administration has introduced several poverty reduction and youth empowerment programmes, which are making concrete improvements in the living standards of our people.

 

“There is a need to ensure that further implementation of these programmes will be driven by the 2023 census data that will improve the implementation of programmes targeting vulnerable populations and ensuring as widespread coverage as possible.

“The nation requires a new data set to drive the implementation of the recently launched revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development and other government policies. The 2023 census data is also needed to tackle the security challenges bedevilling the country, as it will give an overview of the population, where we are and who we are.”

Buhari said 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.

“Knowledge of the national population in terms of size, distribution and socio-economic characteristics is required for planning purposes,” he said.

 

“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.”

He added that the government would appreciate support from donors, development partners and the international community in order to ensure that the commission conducts a census that would be transparent and credible.

“Our administration is convinced that the National Population Commission has the commitment and capacity to deliver to the nation a reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census,” he said.

 

“We are also satisfied with the deployment of technology by the commission to ensure the conduct of the first fully digital census in Nigeria as the census methodology will enhance the data quality, inspire the confidence of the Nigerian people and acceptability of the census results.

“The just-concluded trial census, in which my household was enumerated in my hometown, Daura, Katsina state, has renewed our hope and confidence in the capacity of the commission to deliver the 2023 census.

 

“The outcome of the preparatory activities for the main census is reassuring that the commission is progressing in the right direction.”

[TheCable]

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