Members of the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners (NITP) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give preparations for the 2018 population and housing census more priority in the allocation of funds.

They also urged the president to give the census the necessary backing to enable the National Population Commission (NPC) begun preparation for the process.

The National President of the NITP, Mr. Luka Bulus Achi spoke while receiving officials from the public affairs department of the NPC who came to solicit the support of the institute towards achieving success in the exercise.

He said the need for a census is now very crucial considering the economic recession to enable the government know the accurate population and manage the available resources for the wellbeing of the people.

According to him: “Population size, composition and geographical distribution have impact on the comprehensive planning of the physical and social development of human settlement in terms of facilities, services and utilities. An accurate and acceptable census is therefore crucial to effective urban and regional planning.

“The institute is concerned that despite the rapid increase in population size and characteristics, Nigeria does not have current demographic data for planning purposes. The last census was conducted in 2006 and the country has undergone substantial demographic changes since then. Continuous reliance on the data of the last census for planning purposes is not consistent with current realities.”

Achi argued that the nation’s national census figure should be the official source of determining the number of people rather than the reliance on projections by the World Bank and other international agencies.