The Federal Government has announced the inclusion of religion and ethnicity in the 2018 census data as against the conduct of the 2006 housing and population census.
The government also announced the release of over N775m for the conduct of Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise throughout the country in preparation for next year’s national population census.
Our correspondent reports that the EAD involves the process of deploying high calibre technology to divide the country into small units that could be easily covered by a team of enumerators.
The EAD exercise, slated for between February 20 and March 10 2017, also constitutes the foundation on which the entire census architecture would stand.
The chairman of the National Population Commission, Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), spoke at a press briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said, “Now, on the question of some of the things missing in the last census; well, we are making a commitment about improving on what might have happened in the past. Some of these things are there. We intend to improve on them.
“I am not saying that anything went terribly bad in the past because I wasn’t even here. So, I don’t know what happened. But we want to make sure that whatever product we produce after this census would be accepted by the majority of Nigerians and that should be the test.
“Those things that ought to be there, something like religion, ethnicity and others; I know there is something controversial about them. Now, we want to engage Nigerians on some of those things. We want to let Nigerians to give us feedback on what they want or what they think because we don’t claim to know it all here.
“And that is why we have never been tired of telling you what we are doing. We tell you all that so that you can criticise us and make input. If you think any particular step we are taking is wrong, tell us. It is our duty to accept corrections.
“So, the assurance I give you is that most of those things you complained about will not be left out in the census we are contemplating.”
He recalled that the NPC had previously demarcated 37 Local Government Areas in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT under the previous EAD.