In a bid to ensure precise population data, the Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Hon Nasir Isa Kwara, has reaffirmed the commitment of the current administration to deliver accurate figures, countering the current estimated population of 223 million Nigerians.
During a media interaction with Humanitarian Correspondents following a meeting with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, Hon Kwara emphasized the administration’s dedication to obtaining reliable population data. Dr Edu highlighted the pivotal role accurate data plays in advancing the Renewed Hope Agenda of the government.
Assuring the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation of the NPC’s support, Hon Kwara pledged to furnish the Ministry with comprehensive data from the upcoming population and housing census. He revealed that the Commission had successfully identified 65 million houses during the trial census exercise conducted nationwide.
The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Hon Nasir Isa Kwara, revealed that the Commission has identified special populations residing in unconventional settings. This includes Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), fishermen, herders, and individuals living in non-traditional dwellings such as under bridges.
Addressing the media, Hon Kwara assured that the Commission is leaving no stone unturned in its preparation for the upcoming population and housing census. Notably, the Commission has completed essential procurement activities, securing the necessary resources for a thorough and accurate census.
Furthermore, Hon Kwara disclosed that the NPC has undertaken the demarcation of the 774 Local Government Areas across the country. The Commission has also developed detailed maps encompassing residential areas, offices, water bodies, and other relevant features. This meticulous planning reflects the commitment of the NPC to conduct a comprehensive census that considers the nuances of the population distribution and ensures inclusivity in data collection.
Responding to inquiries about the actual population, Hon Kwara said, “Yes, she (Minister) did ask that question, and I think it was a guiding question. As of now, we don’t have the actual number of people that we have. What we have is just an estimate. We’ve done a lot of projections, from the last census to the current population, and we believe we are estimated at 223 million in Nigeria.
It’s an estimate; it’s a projection. But to get the actual figure, we need to conduct a census. We aim to provide the Nigerian public, the Nigerian government, and the global community with the actual population of Nigeria, its characteristics, distribution, and so on. We need Nigerians to support us as we go through the preparatory processes for the conduct of the census“
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu, in her remarks issued a challenge to the management of the National Population Commission (NPC). Dr Edu emphasized the necessity of obtaining precise demographic information to facilitate strategic planning and effective implementation of the Ministry’s mandate.
Dr Edu said “We have the chairman and the entire team from the National Population Commission here at the Ministry seeking collaboration with the Ministry. They are the custodians of the data we have in Nigeria, so they house the census data and other critical data important to the delivery of our mandate, which is the Renewed Hope Agenda by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“They are strong partners in the implementation of our mandate. From them, we’ll get the total number of Nigerians, which will help us plan our interventions. They will also provide us with specific data on the population of different demographics, including persons who are below the poverty line and the dimensions of poverty, so that we can address them in our key interventions.
“Most importantly, they will work with us at the grassroots, especially concerning implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. They have staff on the ground in various wards, local governments, and communities, and these staff will collaborate with us. We’ll be setting up a technical team between the Ministry and the Commission to flesh out various aspects of this collaboration.
“Furthermore, we’ll work with their team on geospatial digital mapping and statistics across the nation. This will help in the detailed implementation of the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and humanitarian issues across the entire country. They are a very viable partner, and we will support them all the way through,” she noted.