By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
These parlance are synonymous to our modern days development and had overlapping importance both to the developing and underdeveloped countries with Nigeria not an exception.
Nigeria as an emerging leader of countries in the world, tagged giant of Africa cannot afford to digress from this indices of development laced with multiplier effects.
It therefore behoves on the authorities concerned, that the patriotic ideas and ideals of having a well thought out head count in Nigeria with accurate data in line with the current realities remained sacrosanct.
As a leading African continent with global recognition and exposure, the desire to demonstrate the willingness by adapting to the best practices across the globe cannot be overemphasized.
Countries hinged development around demography and it’s population, as well as the practice of people’s representation known across the world as ‘democracy’.
Hence, the interwoven tendencies of the three connotations among the comity of nations, had being the bane of survival of any nation.
A country with a well mapped out demography that encompassed births, deaths, migration and age brackets leveraged on the data to achieve sane indices of development in all areas.
This also included a generally acceptable population data through a well organized census exercise devoid of any untoward or premeditated intentions.
Therefore, a country without up to date census figures risked fallen prey of all circumstances, aside being vulnerable not only to internal skirmishes and agitations, but other immodest situations.
In either ways, countries are expected to rely on accurate population figures, data and statistics to control population explosion, implosion or decrease, through deaths and births , though regarded as a natural phenomenon, but with one overlapping each other through controls.
With a well thought out population census and accurate data, controls in either way could be adopted through provision of social services, enabling environment and laws in tandem with the prevailing situations.
In a sane environment, democracy as a practice is the bane of the survival of a nation and it’s citizens, hence it guarantees not only mass participation of divergent backgrounds, but also ensured equity, unity, progress and development of any nation.
Adoption of democratic rules against all other options was responsible for relative peace across the world, Nigeria cannot be an exception in all considerations.
The uninterrupted democratic rule spanned for 21 years in Nigeria can only be corroborated by a brand new population figure that was lagging behind for 15 years, precisely , after it witnessed the last census in 2006, a situation that is archaic and unacceptable in the country, comity of nations and across the globe.
For a thriving democracy and a sustained dividends there in, an accurate figures of distribution of national assets known as ‘National Cake’ must be ascertained, so as to discourage needless upheavals.
The current population data in Nigeria was obsolete and highly unreliable, as it also did not portrayed the leadership of the continent proffer on Nigeria, particularly as the ‘Giant of Africa’.
The current trend if not checked, is capable of triggering uneasy calm across the country, with multiplier effects to other countries of west African subregion, including the international communities.
it is therefore commendable by all strata, the mandate given by the federal government to the new leadership of National Population Commission NPC, under Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra towards the resolution of the unreliable population figures in Nigeria.
Nigeria and Nigerians cannot continue to approach global activities with many decades of unrealistic population statistics in the 21st century, that is capable of militating against global economic breakthroughs, social stratification, precarious political situations and dearth of infrastructural development across the country.
This had informed the body language of the federal government,and the determination of the new NPC to take Nigeria to the desired template were political ,social, economic, and infrastructural breakthroughs will be the overriding objectives.
Population census when observed ,will also restore the confidence of the international communities in Nigeria, as it stands to benefit in global developmental milestones across the world.
No doubt, the current NPC had in it’s activities towards this year’s census (2022), attracted the body language of Nigerians from the six geopolitical zones to the veracity of a new brand and incontrovertible census figures in the country.
This was hinged from the preparation of both human and material resources in the census agency, through trainings and re-trainings, workshops, talk shops, seminars and symposiums, advocacy visits and awareness campaigns, upgrading of staffs knowledge hitherto analogue to digital, as well as provision of high tech equipment to contend with the new zeal to produce a generally acceptable census figure in Nigeria.
NPC abreast to it’s responsibility ,had under gone the wholistic orientation and reorientation of all organs that will be needed for the forthcoming census, including it’s offices across the country, along with the crucial engagements through a fully mapped out Enumeration Area Demarcation EAD , a pre census exercise that will metamorphosed to real census in the preceding months.
Armed with a highly digitized commission and over 90% successes recorded in the pre- test exercises both the first and second ,it is germane that this year’s census will attain a reasonable success towards achieving the set objectives.
Because of the significance of Nigeria going into the 2023 general elections with accurate data, the federal government in 2022 budget had appropriated, budgeted and approved funds meant to carry out the civic exercise without hitches.
Arrangements that will ensured a hitch free and generally acceptable outcome both to Nigerians and the international communities had being put in place to produce a new population data after 15 years.
The current situation and population had hampered for so long ,the distribution of both economic, social and political amenities to all parts of the country in line with the constitutional provisions.
Governments and citizens as part of civic responsibility are expected to be on the same page towards realising a feat that will portend the good image of Nigeria in the eyes of the international communities.
The belated altercations and observation from a section of the country to put a halt to the forthcoming population and housing census exercise is unpatriotic, unacceptable and detrimental to the well being of the people, especially with the current disagreements and insinuations of the densely populated sections of the country against the other , and the general belief of manipulated figures in the previous exercise, that the forthcoming exercise is capable of resolving.
The forthcoming census will either vilify or exonerate the unsubstantiated allegations from some part of the country, that had engaged in any kind of misdemeanors towards a credible outcome.
With a technological arrangements towards a digitally based population census exercise, to be closely monitored by local and foreign stakeholders, the iota of doubt will be come a thing of the past
It is traditional, that population figures determines allocation of resources, projects, and other social services, as the stage is now set by the management of NPC, with the needed supports from all the stakeholders both within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
Attaining an accurate population figures will assist government in no small measure, both in the current development plans and planning ahead with unattainable figures.
The leadership of the NPC under Nasir Isa Kwarra is working round the clock to ensure the realisation of accurate, reliable and acceptable census data in Nigeria by 2022.
Abubakar Yusuf Is A Public Affairs Analyst, Writes From Abuja, Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Demography, Population ,and Democracy, An Appraisal.
Jan 20, 2022, 19:11 pm0111