NPC Chairman, Mr. Festus Odimegwu
Nigeria is to hold a nationwide census in 2016, the National Population Commission (NPC) said Thursday.
It promised that the national biometric census would enjoy widely acclaimed credibility.
The last population census in the country was in 2006 during which the nation’s population was estimated at 150 million people, thus making the country the eighth most populated country in the world then. Nigeria’s current population estimate is about 167 million.
NPC Chairman, Mr. Festus Odimegwu, playing host to the Chief of Mission of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Mr. Ocaga Martins, in his office in Abuja, said the commission had started preparations for the impending census.
He added that the commission presented a strategic operation plan and budget to President Goodluck Jonathan with an intention to make the commission excellent on all issues of population in Nigeria.
“In the current strategic architecture that the NPC has launched, with the presentation to Mr. President on the September 4, 2012, we have come up with a new vision to actually make sure that NPC becomes the centre of excellent for everything concerning population in Nigeria so that we can lead that demographic field for our national development and global competitiveness.
“We have a mission to be the best population agency in Africa by 2017, making sure we provide the data need of all users across board, internally and externally. We have clear objectives that will lead to the establishment of a central demographic database in the NPC for the whole country, where everybody— security agencies, INEC, all the MTS, all foreigners and all local users— can use the demographic data,” he said.
He also said the commission plan to champion 16 issues that would raise the quality of life of Nigerians. The issues will cover the areas of governance, insecurity and nutrition, health, education, employment, agricultural revolution and rural integration as well as development.
"It would also raise national discourse on issues of industrialisation and urbanisation, service sectors and general issues that would ensure that the best ideas are incorporated into the Nigerian system," Odimegwu stated.
“We have developed clear strategies to achieve these; clear system to achieve these. And we are going to make sure that everybody in NPC is equipped to do the technical and professional jobs that NPC should be known for.
“We are determined that this commission should achieve all the milestones that a modern demographic institution should achieve. We have clearly defined the operational roles in all our departments,” he added.
A presidential committee on the development of the central demographic committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Odimegwu said.