Towards conducting a successful 2016 population census across the country, the National Population Commission (NPC) yesterday requested for a Presidential Proclamation on the exercise.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents by the Chairman of the NPC, Eze Duruiheomawho after leading other commissioners to the Presidential Villa to seek formal proclamation from President Goodluck Jonathan for the exercise.
According to him, the Commission is awaiting response from the President on the request after which it will hit the ground running.
He said: “The last census was in 2006, so in 2016 there ought to be another exercise, so we have come to tell Mr. President about that because we cannot commence until he says go-ahead and the go ahead is by way of proclamation.”
“Our mission here is to seek Mr. President’s proclamation on the matter, to tell us to go ahead with the exercise so that we can hit the road running.”
On whether the next census will be free from the controversies of the past exercises, he said: “Generally, let me say yes but there is something I want to make appeal to the Press in particular. Let’s ask ourselves why we quarrel over census figures. The press owe it a duty to Nigerians to promote things that will assist us. What I am driving at is this, we need to educate our people, we need to properly inform our people what census is all about.”
“Some people see it most often in terms of revenue, which is an ephemeral thing. Yes revenue, which is a very transient thing and maybe representation in the House but these things are not as important as providing credible data that can aid development over time.”
“If you look at the problems confronting us as a nation today, all of them derive from a single fact that we lack data and because we lack data, we don’t plan. So that is what I think we should be looking at.”
“As far as I am concerned, it is only bragging, that we currently do, with some people saying they are more in number than others but those things are not important.” He added
To ensure that Nigeria gets the right census figures in the next dispensation, he appealed to Nigerians to do what his expected of them in the exercise, as he promised that NPC will leave no stone unturned to get accurate census figures for the country.
“We are appealing to everyone to do his part, we will do our part. On our own part what we will do is to swear on the integrity what we are going to do. My attitude as person is to look forward and am positive about everything I do and most importantly, this idea of national pastime of looking behind to find out what went wrong in the past will not help us.”
“Everybody here on the Commission is new, they are not part of whatever may have happened in the past and that entitles us to some benefit of doubt. I am a very straightforward person and I want to bring it to bear on this exercise.” He stated