Menu Close

2023 Census: No questions for Nigerians on religion, ethnicity -NPC

*President Muhammadu Buhari has said before leaving office, he wants to deploy digital technology to conduct a headcount for planning purposes

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As the country prepares for the next census, the National Population Commission (NPC) has clarified that the Census questionnaire has no column for religion and ethnicity.

The Commission made the clarification Friday, April 14, 2023, in Kano, Kano State, Northern Nigeria, when the National Publicity Committee on the 2023 Population and Housing Census paid an advocacy visit to Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Kano.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Chairman of the Committee and Honourable Minister for Information and Culture,  represented by Dr. Garba Abari, Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), led the visit to the media station, agency report said.

In regard to speculations that Nigerians would be asked questions on their faith and ethnic affiliation, a member of the committee, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, said the Commission was not interested in such data in the forthcoming exercise.

Yahaya, who is also the Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, maintained that issues of religion and ethnicity being peddled on social media were mere distractions and without foundation.

He also explained: “Since 1991 when the National Population Commission has been conducting census, we have never asked questions on ethnicity and religion.

“We didn’t do it in 1991, we didn’t do it in 2006 and we won’t do it now.

“The reason is obvious. The two issues are very sensitive and have the capacity to divert attention from the main issue of the census.”

Likewise, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, Director -General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), urged Nigerians not to see the census as a contest among ethnic groups.

Okechukwu disclosed the census is only for planning purposes and not to confer advantage on any group.

“For planning purposes, President Muhammadu Buhari said before he leaves office, he wants to deploy digital technology to conduct a headcount.

“The incoming President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed, in planning with our resources, will know exactly how many Nigerians he is planning for,” Okechukwu said.

Abari commended the authorities of NTA for playing a critical role in the sensitisation campaign for the headcount.

He also restated the headcount was solely to obtain data for national development purposes and urged the media to help tackle the twin scourge of fake news and misinformation.

Sani Yusuf, General Manager of NTA Kano, expressed the readiness of NTA to support the sensitisation campaign on census.

Yusuf gave an assurance that the broadcasting house would produce jingles to aid the campaign as well as provide coverage on the exercise in the country.

The Committee also visited Pyramid FM, in Kano, Radio Kano and Triumph newspapers respectively, report noted.

Kindly Share This Story

Kindly share this story