Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says if a census is conducted in 2018, the outcome will be “doubtable”.
In a statement on Monday by Turaki Hassan, his spokesperson, Dogara said there would be pressure to manipulate the figures for political reasons if the census is conducted a year before the general election.
The speaker said since the census would not be possible in 2017, it should be conducted after 2019.
“I won’t advise anyone to conduct national census in 2018. I said it before that if we are not going to achieve it in 2017, then we should just forget it until after 2019,” the statement read.
“If you conduct census at the niche of elections, there will be so much pressure, crisis and the lure for people to manipulate the figures for political reasons, such that the agency cannot even cope with.
“So it is better for a fresh administration to conduct this exercise from the beginning of that administration when we do not have any pressure of elections in sight. Then we may have something that resembles reality, but I can bet you if the census is conducted in 2018, the outcome will be doubtable.
“Seriously speaking, because I know who we are and I know the kind of litigation, back lashes, the pressure and we don’t need that now to be candid. We have so many challenges, let’s empower the agencies to keep building on the blocks that they will leverage on in the future in order to do the exercise but doing it in 2018, honestly it is nothing I would advocate.”