Nigeria failing to use census figures adequately: Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Tuesday tasked the National Population Commission (NPC) to conduct accurate, credible and acceptable data in the forthcoming 2023 census.
During a courtesy visit by the executive chairman of the NPC, Mr Obasanjo stressed that Nigeria had failed to use the results of the previously conducted census adequately.
“We are running away from making use of our census, the same way we are running from religion and ethnicity.
“The census should lead to real demarcation of constituencies which we have run away from since 2006,” he said,
The country representative from the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA) in Nigeria and other commission officials also attended the courtesy visit at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta.
Mr Obasanjo recalled the last census conducted in 2006 during his administration to be the first in history to be conducted without conflicts, acrimony and contention.
“Census figures that we do not use for planning, real demarcation and all that is not serving a useful purpose; it is a waste of money; I believe we should get this right so that we will be able to know where we are today.
“I don’t know how long we will keep running away from census, and we keep deceiving and lying to ourselves by running away from the truth. We must face and deal with it,” he said.
In his remark, NPC chairman, Nasir Kwarra, commended Mr Obasanjo for conducting a successful free census in 2006 and giving the commission the solid platform to continue.
The chairman, who had earlier paid a similar courtesy visit to the state governor, Dapo Abiodun, and the Alake of Egbaland Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, expressed the commission’s commitment to delivering a credible, accurate and acceptable census, assuring that the exercise would be successful.
He disclosed that 7,718 enumeration areas had been selected for the trial census to test the suitability and readiness for the actual census in 2023, noting that six local government areas would be fully enumerated during the trial.
“The six local government areas that will be fully enumerated are Toungo Local Government Area, Adamawa State (North-East); Daura Local Government Area, Katsina State (North-West); Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State (North-Central),” he said.
Others are “Imeko-Afon Local Government Area, Ogun State (South-West); Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State (South-East) and Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State (South-South).”
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