Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has presented his adminitration’s grouse with the 2006 census figure given to the state, describing the present population of the state pegged at 1.8m as a huge joke taken too far.
Engineer Sule presented the complaint of the state regarding the 2006 census figure when he visited the headquarters of the National Population Commission (NPC), in Abuja, on Tuesday.
According to the governor, Karu Local Government Area of the state alone, has a population of 1.8m people, stressing that, as a result of this low population count, Nasarawa State cannot plan, which is responsible for the backwardness of the state.
He explained that, as a governor, he has to resort to thinking outside the box, in order for the state to function, because what Nasarawa State receives alongside Bayelsa and Ekiti from the FAAC, cannot take the state anywhere.
The governor pointed out that, with Nigeria’s growing population expected to reach 400m by year 2050, there is the urgent need to plan ahead in terms of producing food to feed the expected population, the structure to house the population, as well as a thriving economy to sustain the population.
While noting these as the challenges of the future, Engineer Sule emphasized that the figures that will come out from the next national census, will help the country to plan for the future.
He appreciated the NPC commissioner representing Nasarawa State, former deputy governor of the state, Silas Ali Agara, for personally undertaking the conduct of the EAD across the entire state, adding that Nasarawa is interested in the world knowing her true population.
Engineer Sule was however optimistic that amidst the challenges of insecurity and economic growth, Nasarawa State holds a promise for the future, saying that explains why his administration is working hard in order to take the state to the next level of development.
“One good thing that I found on ground, is the fact that Nasarawa holds one of the greatest prospects for the future development of the country. That is the reason why we keep working hard in order to do it,” he stated.
The governor lamented that presently Nigeria is bedeviled with the challenges of insecurity and economic woes.
He expressed hope that the critical role ahead for the NPC, will go a long way in assisting the country plan well and to effectively tackle these challenges.
Responding, Chairman of the National Population Commission, Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, described the visit by the governor as unprecedented, since the creation of the commission in 1998.
Kwarra further described the visit by Engineer Sule, especially at a time when President Muhammadu Buhari has given the commission the approval to conduct the next national census in second quarter of 2022, connotes total support for the exercise from the 36 governors in the country.
The NPC chairman noted that state governments are critical stakeholders in the census project, which explains why the commission will soon embark on an advocacy visits to all the state governors across the country.
He disclosed that, over the years, the NPC has invested considerable efforts and resources in planning for a modern, scientific and technologically driven census.
While commending the governor for the exemplary leadership being provided in Nasarawa State, Kwarra said the visit by Engineer Sule, is a reminder of his huge responsibility to project the sterling virtues of hard work, commitment to excellence and professionalism for which Nasarawa State is noted.