Population Census: Varsity Don Task FG On Proper Planning

Population Census: Varsity Don Task FG On Proper Planning
A university Don, Professor Funso Olorunfemi has advised the Federal Government on the need to properly plan for the conduct of the country’s next national population census.
Olorunfemi, who is a Professor of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, cautioned that, a population census carried out without carving the country into enumeration areas and putting such in digital format may not yield desired results.
In a paper, entitled: “Population Census in the Spirit of Change”, Olorunfemi argued that if the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari desires true change regarding the NPC, it should take cognizance of the need to properly plan towards the next NPC in order to avoid errors of the past resulting in inaccurate population data and eventual unequal distribution of government’s presence across the country.
“The 1973 census was cancelled and none in 1983. It took another 15 years for Nigeria to have the 2006 census. The census planned for 2018 may not be recommended.  In the spirit of ‘change’ and in this case change for the better, it will be necessary for Nigeria to plan for, and conduct a national census of housing and population that will be accurate and acceptable.
“This can only be achieved if proper and adequate planning that include: pre-censal activities, liaison with development partners, sensitization of all stakeholders within and outside Nigeria, political commitment by the Federal Government of Nigeria such that census in Nigeria will be seen more as a technical exercise rather than a political enterprise. “
He suggested that, “the geo-referencing of all settlements in Nigeria and the use of large scale maps or satellite image derivatives for enumeration area maps should be the minimum acceptable standard.”
Olorunfemi noted that this will eliminate omission or duplication of settlements, adding that, “Logistic support must be provided for census officials on time, rather than their dependence on local communities.  The saying goes that he who pays the piper dictates the tune… unless and until the entire country is properly carved into enumeration areas and in digital format, a census should not be encouraged. In view of the present economic circumstance of Nigeria, a census may not be ripe until 2020/2021. There is therefore sufficient time to plan for the next census,” he said.
Explaining the concept of carving the country into enumeration areas, he said: “What is generally done and indeed feasible is to divide Nigeria into small units that can be managed by canvassers during the census period. These canvassers are called enumerators while these small units are called enumeration areas. The basic thing therefore is to divide Nigeria into distinct and exclusive enumeration areas through the process of enumeration area demarcation (EAD) prior to, and far ahead of the census date. Thus, adequate funding and logistics must be provided and utilized judiciously ahead of the census, because this is an essential part of the activities before a census”

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