The speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has called on the federal government to wait till after 2019 elections before conducting the population census.
Dogara said there will be no political pressure to manipulate the outcome of the census if it was conducted after the general elections, Premium Times reports.
The speaker gave the warning in a statement issued by his special adviser on media and public affairs, Turaki Hassan, on Monday, April 17, in Abuja.
According to the speaker conducting population census in an election year may generate unrealistic results.
He advised that the next administration should conduct the census at the beginning of its tenure when there isn’t so much at stake.
"I won’t advise anyone to conduct national census in 2018. I said it before that if we are not going to achieve it in 2017, then we should just forget it until after 2019.
“If you conduct census at the niche of elections, there will be so much pressure, crisis and the lure for people to manipulate the figures for political reasons.
“It is better for a fresh administration to conduct this exercise from the beginning of that administration when we do not have any pressure of elections in sight.”
“I can bet you if the census is conducted in 2018, the outcome will be doubtable.”
“Seriously speaking, because I know who we are and I know the kind of litigations, backlashes, the pressure and we don’t need that now to be candid," Dogara said.
NAIJ.com learnt that Dogara noted that it is better to empower the population commission and other agencies to keep building on the blocks that they will leverage on in the future.
Bello told a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the Federal Government was expected to fund the exercise by only 51 per cent while the international donor community would fund the remaining 49 per cent.
Dr Bello also said the National Population Census will hold in 2018 if necessary logistics are provided.