By Ndubuisi Francis
Controversy has trailed the recent appointments into the National Population Commission (NPC) as a civil society group, Centre for Social and Inter-ethnic Cohesion (CENSIC), faulted the federal government for the exclusion of some regions from the appointments.
The National Council of State (NCS) had recently ratified the appointments of the Chairman, Mr. Silas Agara, as well as other officials of the commission.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, had recently confirmed the ratification of the officials of the commission.
The nominees are Muhammed Dottijo (Sokoto); Razaq Gidado (Kwara); Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi); Joseph Shazin (FCT); Bala Banya (Katsina) and Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin (Lagos).
Others are from Zamfara, Yobe, Jigawa and Ekiti, while two representatives were from Nasarawa State.
Reacting to what he described as the federal government’s lopsided appointments in a statement, the CENSIC Director of Public Relations, Mr. Wellington Olaiya, said it was surprising that the South-south and South-east regions were left out of the appointments.
He urged the government to correct its mistake in the coming days or weeks, adding: “It has come to our attention that the composition of the members and chairman of the commission is in clear breach of the law.’’
According to Olaiya, the appointments excluded the two geopolitical zones, which is a clear violation of the Federal Character Act.
“We want to believe that this is an error on the part of the executive arm of the government, and we looking forward to its correction,” he said.
The House of Representatives had recently asked the federal government to conduct a national census before the end of 2020, adding that the result from the last one conducted in 2006 is no longer effective for policy-making.
Hon Ademorin Kuye (APC, Lagos), whose motion led to this resolution, called this unfortunate, saying until census is made a mandatory national ritual at intervals like elections, Nigeria would continue to have delays in organising national census.
The government, he said, required data to know the number of children being born; number of schools and hospitals that would be needed; how many workers are in a given town and how many foreigners are in the country for proper provision of infrastructural facilities.