January 30, 2020

Why we get population census wrong in Nigeria — Oshuntuyi




The President, Mathematics for Life Foundation, Mr. Omoniyi Oshuntuyi, has said Nigeria has been grappling with conducting credible population census because the exercise is not seen as a tool for national planning and development.

Oshuntuyi stated this in Lagos during the Annual Mathematics Conference and Exhibition, AMCE, organised by the Foundation.

The event had as theme “The Mathematics of the census: Population, planning and national development.”

According to him, mo realistic and credible population census had been conducted because the government and people only see it as an exercise for election and political gains rather than for economic and social development.

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“Population census should be held every 10 years, but in Nigeria, the last one we had was over 14 years ago. Then how do we plan for the future? Census figures are not just meant for deciding statutory allocations to tiers of government or states, but the data obtained for planning adequately for the future.

“Some would say the cost of conducting a census is huge, but we know that with the deployment of modern technology, the cost can be drastically reduced. Our Foundation has always been taken topical issues for academic digestion by experts and we are focusing on census this year because of what lack of accurate data and planning are costing us as a nation,” he said.

On how to make teaching and learning of Mathematics enjoyable, Oshuntuyi noted that the first step was to have well trained and motivated teachers of the subject to make the subject attractive to students.

Contributing, Prof. Mrs. Olabisi Ugbebor, Mr. Niyi Okuboyejo, and Mr. Oluwatosin Ilesanmi said population count was only a part of what could be derived from a population census.

They added that allocating resources based on census figures had led to the manipulation of the exercise.

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They noted that GIS, social media and other things could be used in conducting population census that would produce credible figures at a lower cost.

The experts added that Nigeria would continue to experience stunted economic growth when basic information about the nation’s demography was lacking.

Merit awards were given to outstanding individuals and corporate bodies during the conference.