Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, yesterday, said the Nigerian census is highly politicised and bedevilled with politics of numbers and allocation of resources orchestrated by ethnicity, regional and religious differences.
Masari, who spoke at a Stakeholders’ Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Katsina, added that the entire planning system of the country has been negatively affected up to the point that the nation does not know its accurate growth rate.
According to him, even the previous censuses conducted by military regimes in the country were not devoid of politics of tribal dimension, regional, zonal and religious, which he said negated the core purpose of the census.
The governor noted that the census, which is meant to help in terms of actual planning purposes, has been reduced to politics of numbers and politics of accessing resources, adding that the commission should address the quality of numbers, not politics of numbers.
According to Masari, “The tragedy of what we have done in reducing the issues of census could rarely fall on us in terms of resources allocation and political offices. These have eroded the main objective of knowing how many we are”.
“We don’t even have an accurate growth rate. All our censuses are being bedevilled by politics of numbers not quality of numbers. We hope this time, with technology, we will be able to achieve near perfection in terms of knowing how many we are in this country. The commission should address the quality of numbers, not politics of numbers”, he stated.
Earlier, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC), Katsina State, Bala Almu Banye, said the Commission was committed towards digitising census in the country to meet the international standards. He said the scheduled 2023 Census is designed to realise the dream of providing the needed demographic data that will facilitate and place Nigeria on the pedestal of sustainable development.
Banye explained that the Summit will broaden the state level support base for the successful conduct of the 2023 census, as well as create public awareness including its imperatives, methodology and timelines.