Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero and the Chairman, National Population Commission, Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), on Tuesday expressed concern about the suspicions Nigerians had attached to the nation’s census over the years.
They explained that the essence of head counts for any nation was not for political reasons but for the purpose of economic growth of the nation.
Yero, speaking through his Deputy, Ambassador Nuhu Bajoga, shortly after declaring open a Technical Review Workshop on Draft Questions for the 2016 Census by the commission in Kaduna, said government carried out census in order to plan for the welfare of the citizens and not for political considerations.
“You have to know the number of people so as to know the number of hospitals to build. So, the whole essence of the head counts (census) by the commission is to know the number of people you have and if possible, to control the same and raise the quality of lives of the citizens”, he said.
Admonishing Nigerians to minimise the rancour and unnecessary controversies associated with the exercise, the governor added, “Census is not about politics. We should minimise the rancour, which always occur whenever the exercise is being conducted. The whole essence is for planning and that is it”.
The governor told participants at the workshop, which included federal commissioners, directors and other stakeholders, drawn from the entire 36 states of the federation, to ensure that at the end of deliberations, they could come up with questions capable of providing information that would stimulate growth and development in the country.
“We pray that the result of your brainstorming would be useful to the nation in planning for development at the different strata of our society”, Yero said.
On his part, Mr. Duruiheoma said the NPC’s commitment to the success of Census 2016 was unwavering and urged Nigeria to stop viewing the exercise as a political exercise.