No credible census in Nigeria since 1816 –NPC boss


Chairman of the National Population Census (NPC), Dr Festus Odimegwu has alleged that no credible census had been conducted in Nigeria since 1816. According to him, census figures were regularly distorted for selfish reasons.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, Dr. Odimegwu gave a graphical analysis of how the various census exercises had been manipulated over the years. “No census has been credible in Nigeria since 1816. Even the one conducted in 2006 is not credible. I have the records and evidence produced by scholars and professors of repute.
This is not my report. If the current laws are not amended, the planned 2016 census will not succeed,” Odimegwu said. He recalled how staffers of NPC protested against commissioners during the 2006 census over alleged manipulation.
“During the 2006 census, workers locked out the commissioners over creation of new areas,” he said. Odimegwu further alleged that a former Lagos State governor (names withheld) falsified a census result some years ago.
“Nigeria has run on falsehood for too long. We must stop this falsehood and put a stop to all of these. The Boko Haram problem is partly as a result of that. Because the 2006 census was not correct, the former board of NPC was unable to publish the figures. “If they try it, there will be an uproar. We must make Nigeria work. We cannot do that unless we know the statistics. We cannot build infrastructure without demographic data. As long as the figures in Nigeria are wrong, corruption will continue to thrive. We must have an organised data before we can plan for Nigeria,” he stated.
He urged that Nigeria should either conduct a credible census exercise or forget about it. “It is either we do an accurate census or we will not do anything. We are committed to giving Nigerians a credible and reliable census. Nigerians are weeping up sentiments, but we have gone beyond ethnic sentiments. Nigerian children are suffering and many youths have no jobs,” Odimegwu said.

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