The National Population and Housing Census coming up in 2023 would help tackle insecurity in the country, Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, said on Wednesday.
The governor also said that availability of a current data would drive the implementation of his programmes and policies.
He spoke at the stakeholders’ summit held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on the 2023 population and housing census. The summit was tagged “Getting the people involved”.
Represented by his deputy, Mr Luck Aiyedatiwa, the governor noted that the country’s inability to conduct a population census in the last 16 years had created an information vacuum as the data from the last census has been rendered less useful for planning purposes.
Akeredolu said, “We require a new data set to drive the implementation of the recently launched revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development and other government policies in Ondo state.
“The 2023 Census data is also needed to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the country as it will give an overview of the population where they are and who they are. We are delighted with the promise by the Commission that it will deploy technology to ensure the conduct of the first fully digital census in Nigeria.
“This census methodology will enhance the data quality, inspire the confidence of the Nigerian people and acceptability of the census results.
“Knowing the population of Ondo State and using the data to plan for the people and future generations is a collective duty we owe this country. We must all resolve that this duty is satisfactorily carried out in the firm belief that what has joined us together as a country and our common destiny are far stronger than the negative forces that tend to drive us apart.”
In his remarks, a commissioner of the National Population Commission, Mr Diran Iyantan, said the 2023 census would be fully digital.
He also expressed assurance that all Nigerians would be counted in the right way, at the right place and time and for the benefit of all residents in the country.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the Trade Union Congress, Comrade Gideon Bakare, urged the NPC not to repeat mistakes of the 2006 census by introducing technology and conducting the exercise online.
“Census is not about the counting of animals. We want the NPC to correct mistakes of the past where officials ran out of materials in the field,” he charged.
The Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, said the NPC would be doing Nigerians a great deal if the exercise were credible, nothing that the world has moved beyond the era of having huge population in desert region more than in the rain forest.