Ghaji-Bello

Two years after it should have conducted another census to ascertain the nation’s actual population, Nigeria is still contemplating when to hold this all-important exercise because the requisite logistics have not been provided.

Director-General of the National Population Commission (NPC), Dr. Ghaji Bello, said in an interview in New York last year that although the census should hold this year “if the necessary logistics are provided”, he was however not sure when that would be, adding that indeed, “the exercise should have been conducted in 2016 in line with international practice.”

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, last week, NPC Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), explained that there was no budgetary allocation for the commission to conduct census. He said what the commission was currently doing is Enumeration Area Demarcation using part of the commission’s budget.

It is disheartening that such an important exercise as census could be handled with levity by government. It is a fact that reliable data base is a prerequisite for development as its aids planning.

It is, therefore, shameful that government does not see the urgency in updating its population data base through census, two years after it ought to have been carried out. Sad!