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2018 census: NITP begs Buhari to hasten process

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THE Nigeria Institute of Town Planners, (NITP), on Tuesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently make proclamation for the conduct of the 2018 population and housing census.

It said further delay in the conduct of the next census will compound town planners’ efforts towards the use of authentic and current population data for planning.

President of NITP, Mr Luka Achi, gave the advice in Abuja at a media conference on the imperative for the conduct of the 2018 population and housing census.

Also at the meeting were members of the NITP from the National Population Commission, (NPC).

Achi called on the Federal Government to give the NPC the approval and necessary resources for the conduct of the 2018 census in terms of adequate and timely release of fund.

He said in spite of the rapid changes in the population size and characteristics: “Nigeria does not have current demographic data set for planning purpose.”

His words: “Population size, composition and geographical distribution have decisive impacts on the comprehensive planning of the physical and social development of human settlement (Cities, towns and village) in terms of facilities, services and utilities.

“Specifically, we wish to lend our voice and support to the resolution of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of October 15, 2016, calling on President Miuhammadu Buhari to make the proclamation for the conduct of the 2018 census.

“The institute has followed with keen interest the plans of the commission to conduct a biometric based census through the capture of the facial impression and finger prints of respondents and satisfied that his bold initiative will neutralise the challenges of double and multiple enumerations of persons experienced in previous censuses.

“The continuous reliance on projections of Nigeria’s population by the World Bank and other international agencies is not consistent with the imperative of purposeful planning for development. A national census should be the major and official source of population of the country.

“The institute therefore calls on the Federal Government to expedite action towards the conduct of the next population and housing census not later than 2018. Further delay in the conduct of the next census will compound our efforts towards the use of authentic and current population data for planning.

“I therefore wish to state the commitment of the NITP to partner the commission in ensuring that a successful census conducts in Nigeria. We offer to make our individual and collective expertise available to the commission at every stage of the census. We are happy to note that some of our members are serving in various top capacities in the commission.