‘Why Nigeria lacks accurate census’

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Minister /Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC),Dr Abubakar Suleiman, has identified the absence of grassroots data of all Nigerians linked electronically to a central information bank as the major draw back to availability of accurate census figures in the country.

The minister stated this in Abuja at the inauguration of the National Implementation/Technical Committee on Implementation of Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN).

He noted that documentation of records such as daily birth and deaths, disaggregated by sex or age ought to be systematically captured first at the ward, local, state and finally Federal Government level for storage.

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He further stressed that efforts to produce these data without centralizing and updating them regularly is the reason factual Nigerian population remains an issue subject to speculation.

Suleiman who lauded the composition of the BRISIN technical committee, explained that the implementation of BRISIN will assist in solidifying Nigeria’s security network, in addition to creating more jobs and raising revenue accruals to the nation.

“In terms of population census, BRISIN will assist in keeping accurate records relating to census. Examples are daily births and death rates, daily marriages and divorce records, immigrants and emigrants population, residency status and internal transfers. With BRISIN, the National Population Commission will be able to provide accurate census figures at any point in time. This will in turn complement the regular population head count through enormous value addition”, he said.

Further on how structuring Nigeria’s data storage system in line with BRISIN will boost other sectors, the minister said sectors such as security and economy will receive a boost, as records of offenders anywhere in the country would be captured electronically and stored in a central data bank from where it can be called up on demand from any part of the country.