The House of Representatives on Wednesday, urged the Federal Government to fix date for national census scheduled in the fourth quarter of 2019.
This followed a motion under “Matters of Urgent Public Importance” by Rep. Ossy Prestige (Abia-APGA), on the need to conduct census for proper planning and development in Nigeria.
Moving the motion, the lawmaker quoted United Nations Fund for Population Activities as saying that Nigeria had a dynamic economy and large population expected to double in the next two decades.
He said that census was pivotal and necessary tool for the growth of any emerging society, which in turn informed decision-making at all facets of public and private sector.
Prestige pointed out that the last census was held in 2006, and that the nation’s population then was estimated at 140, 431, 790, with estimated growth of less than three per cent yearly.
He said that 12 years after the census, the current population of Nigeria was not known, but the estimated 297 million by the present Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC) recently put the population at 297 million.
The lawmaker expressed concern that the lack of up-to-date and accurate data on population in Nigeria had affected national planning and development at all levels that culminated in human and agricultural insecurity in Nigeria.
He said that a census based on biometric data would capture all Nigerians, adding that it would also help to solve problems of infiltration and internal security including kidnapping, terrorism and armed robbery.
The motion was unanimously adopted by members when it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara.
The House, therefore, urged the government to make provisions for census funds in 2019 Budget and also appealed to international communities to support same.
It further asked the Federal Government to mobilise the NPC for the completion of Enumeration Area Demarcation and preliminary preparation of the census.
The House also mandated its Committee on Legislative Compliance to liaise with the NPC for strict compliance and report back to it for further legislative action.