2023: Why we should conduct census — Lai Mohammed


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said Nigeria should conduct the 2023 population and housing census to promote national planning and development.

The Minister spoke at the inauguration of the population and housing national census publicity committee in Abuja.

He added that it has been over 17 years since Nigeria last conducted its census as against the ten-year mandate, hence, he emphasised the need for the country to conduct census in 2023 despite many activities going on in the calendar year.


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According to him, “As you are aware, Nigeria last held a population census in 2006. That’s about 17 years ago – almost an eternity when you consider. It is recommended that a national population census be held every 10 years.

“The conduct of the 2023 population and housing census is a top priority for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is borne out of the desire to bequeath an endearing legacy of evidence-based planning for sustainable development.

“Our population remains the most important equation in our national development. The people are both the agents and beneficiaries Of development process, hence development must start and end with meeting the aspirations of the people for improved living standard.

“The conduct of the 2023 population and housing census is therefore to complement the giant Strides of government by laying a sustainable basis for a planned and prosperous Nigeria.

“The Federal Government notes with satisfaction and commendation the effort of the Commission to positively rewrite the history of census in Nigeria through meticulous planning and massive deployment of technology at every stage of the national exercise.

“We are Happy to note that the Commission is not only making efforts to conduct the 2023 census but also laying a solid foundation for the seamless conduct of future censuses.”

He urged Nigerians to ensure absolute cooperation with the National Population Commission in order to deliver an error-free census. Mohammed also lauded the implementation of a digital process for the census.

He said, “The Enumeration Area Demarcation, which involves the division of Tte entire landmass of Nigeria into small enumeration areas that can be covered by a pair of enumerators, has been carried out meticulously and digitally. The products generated will be relevant for other planning purposes. All buildings and structures in the country have been captured and geo-coded.

“I therefore urge all persons resident in Nigeria to extend maximum cooperation to the National Population Commission in its bid to deliver accurate and reliable demographic data for planning.”

On his part, Chairman, National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, said the Commission will be relying on the expertise and structures of the newly inaugurated Publicity Committee to drive the message into every home and household to drum up support and participation in the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

He said, “Given this scenario, information they say ‘rules the world’ as such, targeted advocacy and sustained publicity is no doubt imperative to the successful conduct of the Census exercise. This becomes even more crucial in view of the fact that the census is taking place immediately after the conduct of the 2023 general elections.

“Therefore, the mobilization of critical stakeholders to support and take ownership of the process to achieve the desired outcome is imperative and it hinges absolutely on our ability to speak to the people in the language that will galvanize and mobilize them to participate in the 2023 census.

“In order to ensure that members of the National Census Publicity Committee have good grasp of the processes and methodology of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, a workshop will be organized to keep members of the Committee up-to-date on the preparation for the census. In addition, the Committee should be rest assured of the Commission’s full support for it to deliver on this very important national assignment.

“I wish to use this opportunity to reassure my fellow country men and women and the international community that the National Population Commission is irrevocably committed to ensuring that everything about the 2023 census is done rightly and professionally. We have the clear vision, commitment and capacity to deliver on this historic mandate.”

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