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Nigeria’s Exact Population Unknown As FG Fails To Conduct Census


Amidst the spate of insecurity and economic downturn, the country’s exact population is still unknown, as the Federal Government (FG) repeatedly failed to conduct census.

Although this is against the ten years United Nations (UN) recommendations, Nigeria unfortunately, does not have a law compelling the government to hold census every decade.

The National Population Commission (NPC) is saddled with the statutory powers to collect, analyze and disseminate demographic data in the country. It is also mandated to undertake demographic sample surveys, compile, collate and publish migration and civil registration statistics as well as monitor the country’s Population Policy.

However, since the last exercise in 2006, Nigeria is yet to conduct another census, leaving the country to plan on the United Nations(UN) 200million projection.

The next population and housing census were due in 2016 but the FG failed to make proclamations to this effect.

Eze Duruiheoma, the former Chairman, NpopC had in 2018 blamed the delay on lack of funding stating that the exercise, as at the time, would gulp N222billion.

Apart from funding, the former Chairman said there was no proclamation from the President, Muhammadu Buhari and lack of legislation for the periodic conduct of the census.

As a result, the uncertainties surrounding the actual population figure of the country have continued to linger, thus impacting on adequate planning for Nigerians.

In his valedictory speech in 2019, Duruiheoma had recommended the amendment of the Population Act to make provision for the conduct of census every 10 years in line with United Nations recommendations.

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