BY DOTUN IBIWOYE
POpulation census is an integral development factor in any system , district , city or country.
The proposed plan by the Lagos state government to conduct an annual schools’ census with a mission to help generate accurate and reliable data will face problem arising from unresolved issues from the national census
The head count for schools in the state is among others, meant to enable the state align with practice in the world, where the stakeholders including Principals, Head teachers, teachers and enumerators will be trained by the Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria, ESSPIN.
ESSPIN is a partnership between the Nigerian Government and the United Kingdom Department for International Development, DFID – to develop effective planning, financing and delivery systems that will improve the quality of basic education.
By the end of this year, it is expected to have a significant impact on 7,500 public and 1,600 non-government schools with approximately four million learners.
There are several unresolved issues pertaining to population census in respect of Lagos which will directly affect the proposed annual school census.
Being located in a federal structure, the Lagos is however affected by the overarching laws of the federation.
In June last year, the National Census Tribunal declared null and void the headcount in 14 local government areas of the state for the 2006 National Population and Household Census, ordering the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC) to conduct a fresh headcount in the areas to ascertain the true population figure.
The Lagos State Government had, on behalf of 19 out of 20 old LGAs, which covers 40 out of the new 57 councils in the state, sought the intervention of the National Census Tribunal to nullify the 2006 census figure of 9,113,605 allotted to the state by the NPC based on petitions written by the local governments alleging irregularities, which resulted in the exclusion of many residents from the exercise.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, said the tribunal, however, did not uphold the petitions of the remaining five local government areas of Shomolu, Ikorodu, Kosofe, Mushin and Oshodi-Isolo on the ground that sufficient proof was not presented by the petitioners.
The Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Gbolahan Daodu, earlier explained that the need for the schools’ census cannot be overemphasized hence she appealed to all stakeholders to key into the exercise for a successful exercise.