Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, has expressed his dissatisfaction with the lack of accurate and consistent population data in Nigeria. He said this has made it difficult for the country to plan for its future and to belong to the comity of nations that make an impact in the world.
He made this remark on Thursday when he received a delegation from the National Population Commission (NPC) led by its Chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra, at the National Assembly. He said the country has been relying on guesswork and estimates to determine its population, which range from 200 million to 250 million. He said the NPC has the constitutional and statutory responsibility to conduct a population census and provide reliable data for the country.
He also stressed the need for a population census to prepare for the future and to address the challenges of education, security, water, and urban planning. He urged the NPC to expedite the process of conducting the census, which has been delayed since 2016.
Another member of the committee, Senator Babangida Hussaini (APC, Jigawa Northwest), also called for the proper policing of the country’s borders, which he said are as open as the sky. He said this would help to check the influx of illegal immigrants, which affect the population growth and security of the country.
The NPC Chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra, assured the committee that the commission was ready to conduct the census and that it would deploy the Geographic Information System (GIS) to ensure accuracy and efficiency. He said the commission would also use biometric data and satellite imagery to capture the population and demographic characteristics of the country.