The Disturbing Absence of Demographic Planning in Nigeria
The first census in 1962 was cancelled as a result of allegations and counter allegations of over-counting in several geographical locations in the country.
The figures were rejected by the Eastern and Mid-Western regions based on their arguments that the figures for the Northern region were inflated.
The result was 29.8 million for the North, 10.3 million for the West, 12.4 million for the East and 2.5 million for the Mid-West.
Another census held in 1973, by General Yakubu Gowon-led military government fixed Nigeria's population at 79.758 million.
Controversy trailed the result and it was eventually cancelled by the Murtala Muhammed-led military government in 1975.
However, in 1988, the National Population Commission(NPC) was established, but failed to minimize the controversies revolving around the result of the census.
In 1991, the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida conducted yet another census. The NPC put the country's population at 89.9 million.
Nigerians kicked, insisting that the result did not represent the true figure of the country's population.
In 2006, the civilian administration of former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, conducted the most recent census and the result presently serves as the basis for political and economic projections in the country.
Sadly, it is doubtful if policy makers have been successful in pinpointing the population growth rate for long term planning.
Of worry, is the fact that uncertainty surrounds the actual figure of the new addition to the population and the available resources in the country.
Indeed, the absence of proper demographic planning is visible at the three tiers of government, even though the office holders emerged through the ballot box.
At the Tail End
The acts of omission and commission must have been well thought out, carefully planned and professionally executed, but at the tail end, The Powerful Today,seeing the handwriting on the wall, have resorted to apologies and pleas for forgiveness.
The feeling everywhere now, is that there has not been any government in place, at the center and in a specific numbe of states, all this while.