n Journal of Nation-building & Policy Studies - The politics of population census : challenge to democracy and nation building in Nigeria since 1960

Volume 3 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2516-3124
  • E-ISSN: 2516-3132



Population is very vital to the government for nation building of a country especially, Nigeria. Nigeria's population has been contentious and politicized since colonial times. Census statistics embodies an essential database prerequisite for measuring the physical and social well-being of a nation's population. Hence, for any country to realize its development potentials, it requires a comprehensive population database support to guide its socioeconomic programmes, planning and implementation. The fusses in Nigeria census steered the cancellation of the 1962 general population census which was repeated in 1963.The Population of an area is considered a political weapon, a condition desiderata for provision of amenities, infrastructure and in fact, guides wealth allocations and fiscal planning. Regrettably, Nigeria is yet to produce an acceptable and satisfactory demographic data for infrastructural development and nation building. Scholars of Nigerian history appear not to have paid adequate attention to nation building in Nigeria as a result of inaccurate population database. Hence, this paper is an attempt in the direction. It contends that over politicization of population census is a major challenge to nation building in Nigeria. It explores the nexus between population census and democracy; and how it affects the nation building. These challenges inter-alia include building strong institution for democracy, equitable distribution of amenities, justice and equality of life for all Nigerians among other issues. Information from both primary and secondary sources was used while the approach is inter-disciplinary. Qualitative research methodology was adopted for effective analyses. The conclusion is interspersed with some recommendations.

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