By Alaba Olusola Oke
The National Population Commission (NPC) says there is need for a current census that will give Nigeria accurate and reliable data for planning toward desired development of the country.
The Federal Commissioner representing Ondo State NPC in Abuja, Dr Oladiran Iyantan, said this on Saturday during a meeting with media practitioners in Akure.
According to Iyantan, the last population and housing census in 2006 cannot give Nigeria an accurate data, hence the need for a new one.
He said a lot of things had happened during the period of 17 years, adding that census is a veritable tool to plan for development and growth of the nation.
He said that the planned 2023 Census was not cancelled but put on a temporary interruption due to sensitivity of the time of civil transition.
The federal commissioner explained that if Nigeria should be an egalitarian society and belongs to comity of nations that do things right, the country should have recent and credible census data.
Iyantan stated that the NPC had reached 80 per cent in preparation for the exercise before it was put on hold.
According to him, only five preparatory activities remain out of 35 activities before the head and housing count.
He said that the commission would conduct a credible and reliable census that would be acceptable to all stakeholders, adding that digitalisation would be employed to carry out the exercise.
Iyatan said that all hands must be on deck to conduct the exercise, as the country could not afford to discontinue the exercise since a lot had been spent for procurement of equipment, training of facilitators and for logistics.
According to him, it will be disastrous if the exercise is truncated.
He noted that Nigerians were eager to have the exercise conducted, hence the need to plead for media support to stimulate the importance and benefits of the exercise.
Iyantan said that efforts were in top gear in getting financial support from international donors and partners depending on government’s resolution on the exercise. (NAN)