The house of representatives has asked the National Population Commission (NPC) to come up with a feasible time table for the conduct of a national census before the end of 2020.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion moved by Ademorin Kuye (APC-Lagos) during plenary on Wednesday.
The last national census was conducted in 2006.
As at April, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) projected Nigeria’s population at 201 million.
Moving the motion, ‘Need to Commence the long Overdue National Population Census in Nigeria’, Kuye said the accurate population of the country was important to ensure basic provisions and infrastructure are made available to citizens.
The lawmaker said relying on the figures from organisations such as United Nations makes planning difficult, adding that census should be carried out at intervals like elections.
“The 1952/1953 census was the first modern, national and carefully planned census. However, its outcome was not generally accepted as it was not conducted simultaneously throughout the country,” he said.
“Other population census that took place at various times between 1953, 1962/1963 and 1973 were well planned.
“The house again notes that in 2016, the World Bank estimated Nigeria’s population at 186 million and the United Nations, also in 2017, put Nigeria’s population at 180 million with a growth rate of 2.7 per cent.
“Prior to that in 2016, the former director-general of NPC had estimated Nigeria’s population to be 182 million with a growth rate of 3.5 per cent.
“The house also recalls that the national assembly had, in 2018, called for postponement of the proposed 2018 population census on the grounds that such an exercise, coming on the eve of the 2019 general elections, could end in chaos.”
The lawmakers urged the federal government to provide necessary logistics for the conduct of a national census in 2020 to end uncertainties in Nigeria’s actual population.
The house resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to liaise with NPC, ministry of finance, budget and planning and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to work out modalities on the conduct of a population census in 2020.