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World Bank predictions of Nigeria’s population not reliable —Expert

Continuous dependence on the World Bank predictions of Nigeria’s population for national development is unsustainable, president, the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP), Mr Luka Achi, has said.

Achi said aside from reliance on data gathered from the 2006 census for planning and development, forecasts made by other international development organisations were unreliable except the country hasten it’s next census exercise.

He disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday, during a conference on the imperative for the conduct of 2018 population and housing census.

He said it became imperative for President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently make proclamation for the conduct of the 2018 population and housing census, adding that further delay in the conduct of the next census, would compound town planner’s efforts in the use of authentic and current population data for planning.

“Nigeria does not have current demographic data set for planning purposes. The last census was conducted in 2006 and Nigeria has undergone substantial demographic changes since then. Continuous reliance on the 2006 census data for planning purposes is not consistent with current realities.

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

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.”

“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,’’ he said.