From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Governor of Niger state Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has urged Nigerians to stop politicizing population figure, intimating that it is an economic planning tool.
The Governor therefore called on Nigerians to see the 2016 census as an aspect of economic planning tool, which will help in facilitating result oriented economic policies.
Governor Aliyu in a signed statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel A. Ebije, urged Nigerians to stop using censors figures to intimidate along ethnic and religious sentimentality adding that it is time Nigerians use it for developmental purpose.
Aliyu who was with the Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) Chief Eze Duruiheoma yesterday in Minna said, ‘’If we continue to play politics with our population, believe me we will get it wrong. We need to have a realistic population figure if we must get it right in our economic planning strategy’’
‘’It is therefore not how many people we have in the country alone but the quality of the population. It is therefore important for us to have accurate analysis of the youth population, gender population but most importantly, the working population. ’’
He therefore pledged he would continue to advocate for quality census in 2016 adding that he would talk to his colleague governors and also personally write to Northern States Governors to take the next census seriously.
He opined that, ‘‘it is important to get the census figure correctly to woo development partners. I will speak with my colleagues on the need to be actively involved in the census excise in 2016. We must also educate the people on the need to participate.”
Duruiheoma, who had earlier thanked the Niger state governor for raising awareness over the importance of census, begged him not to relent adding that Nigerians must be made to understand the need for census to make the exercise smoother and statistics accurate for strategic economic use.