President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that the irregualar conduct of census has denied Nigeria of data for evidence-based decison making.
Buhari said this on Thursday at the national stakeholders’ summit on the 2023 population and housing census, held at the state house, Abuja.
He stated that despite Nigeria’s high-ranking position on the global demographic map, its censuses have been conducted irregularly — longer than the interval recommended by the United Nations.
“This irregular and long interval of census taking in Nigeria has denied the nation the huge benefits of comprehensive baseline data for evidence-based decision-making,” Buhari said, according to a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman.
“The country’s inability to conduct a population census in the last 16 years has created an information vacuum, as the data from the last census conducted in 2006 has been rendered out of date for planning purposes.
“It has, therefore, become imperative for the nation to conduct another national census to produce a new set of demographic and socio-economic data that will provide the basis for national planning and sustainable development.
“Since our assumption of office in 2015, our administration has introduced several poverty reduction and youth empowerment programmes, which are making concrete improvements in the living standards of our people.
“There is a need to ensure that further implementation of these programmes will be driven by the 2023 census data that will improve the implementation of programmes targeting vulnerable populations and ensuring as widespread coverage as possible.
“The nation requires a new data set to drive the implementation of the recently launched revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development and other government policies. The 2023 census data is also needed to tackle the security challenges bedevilling the country, as it will give an overview of the population, where we are and who we are.”