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Nigeria to conduct its first digital census in May

Voters queue to vote at a polling station during the Anambra State governorship election at Isuofia.   -  
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Africa’s most populous country is ready to conduct its first Digital Census In May 2022.

Nasir Isa Kwarra, Nigeria’s head of the National Population Commission has announced the news on Monday. According to local sources, the official was away on a trip in Kaduna state when he disclosed the information.

The NPC chairman started a few months ago a tour to the governors of the 36 states that the federation comprises. He was aiming to create public awareness on the upcoming census.

More than 15 years after the last population count, new instruments and methodology will be introduced. “We have the map data in our system, androids which unlike the analogue era will make it very easy for a reliable and credible census”, he said to reporters.

Testing phase

Pre-test exercises started in last year before the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise which involves dividing the entire country into small units easily covered by a team of enumerators during the census. According to the chairman Kwarra, a pre-test is not the actual census but “the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census”. 

Back in 2006, the population estimate was one hundred forty million inhabitants but this figure was contested by some groups. Nigerians from the Southern states claimed that estimate had been manipulated to favour the north.

The exact date of the May 2022 exercise is awaiting approval by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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