There are strong indications that there would be no national census in the country in the nearest future, especially in 2016.
Speaking with Blueprint in Umuahia, the Abia state representative in the National Population Commission (NPC), Dr. Samuel Chibunna Ahaiwe, said “before any census is held, there will be a proclamation by the National Assembly who will authorise the indices which NPC will be based on.”
“So far, no proclamation on if any census will hold in 2016. Normally the President will send a memo (to the National Assembly) asking for that, but for now, nothing has been made,” he said. Ahaiwe said the National Assembly would decide if religion and ethnicity would be part of the next census as citizens complained about that during the last exercise.
He said the activities of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) interrupted the last counting in Abia state, adding that “that was why our people obviously appeared to be undercounted.”
“However, in the next census, efforts will be made that such errors will not occur. In future counting we should not allow any disruption, knowing the negative impact it will have on the people of not only the state, but the entire South-east.”
He said there were rules in census and that if they were observed, there would not be any undercounting, unless if the people purposely did not offer themselves for counting.
Ahaiwe said the revenue mobilisation of the state would be affected by undercounting as about 20 per cent was based on the population and that whatever was the principle by which revenue would be shared.