As the estimation of the actual population of Nigerians is mired in controversy, the member representing Eket/Esit Eket/ Ibeno/ ONNA Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Patrick Ifon, has called on Nigerians to leave politics and support strong legal backing that will make periodic census a priority, in other to aid the country ascertain its true population.
Ifon, who is a member of the House Committee on Population, made the call Wednesday, during a briefing with the press, immediately after the committee’s inaugural meeting.
In his analysis, he narrated that Nigeria is estimated to have about 200.96 million people as stated by the National Population Commission in 2019, which is at variance with the 2006 population and housing census that placed the total population at 140 Million.
He expressed disaffection that there is a global expectation of every country ‘according to the United Nations’ to hold census every 10 years, but Nigeria has relied on either a guess estimated population or totally relied on the United Nations projected population. This he said does not augur well for planning and development in Nigeria.
” Who told us we are 200.96 million in this country?”
“The country conducted its last population census in 2006 and globally, every country is expected to hold census every 10 years. The 2006 population and housing census put Nigeria’s total population at 140 million and since then, estimates had been used to update the country’s growing population every year.
Ifon stated further that the National Population Commission (NPC) should stop further estimation of the country’s population as it will dissuade the Federal government from plans to see periodic census as a necessity.
In his conviction, he maintained that there will be no effective planning and execution of national development programmes with estimated figures, meaning that Nigeria should channel her energy to the imperatives of a national census that will provide the country with much needed current data to aid effective planning in the country,” he said.