Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has charged the National Population Commission to ensure that the 2023 census leads to real demarcation of constituencies in Nigeria.

Obasanjo advised that the results of the forthcoming census must be put to good use by the government in formulating policies and planing for the future.

The former President gave the charge on Monday when the Executive Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Kwarra, led some state commissioners of the commission on a courtesy call to Obasanjo at his residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

He urged the NPC to conduct a credible, reliable and acceptable census in 2023.

Kwarra, who was accompanied by the country representative of United Nations Population Fund in Nigeria, Ms Ulla Mueller, is in Ogun State with his team to monitor the ongoing trial census in the Imeko Afon local government area of the state as part of preparation for the 2023 general census.

Obasanjo lamented that Nigeria has failed to make adequate use of the results of census previously conducted in the country.

Obasanjo said, “What use do we make of census when we have got it? We are still running away the same way we are running away from religion and the same way we are running away from ethnicity, we are running away from making use of our census.

“Census figure that we do not use for planning, for real demarcation and all that is not serving a useful purpose, it is a waste of money and I hope that we will be able to do this right and I pray that God will help you that you will be able to get it right.

“The census should lead on to real demarcation of constituencies which we have run away from since 2006. Again, I don’t know how long we will run away from it for. And we keep deceiving ourselves and lying to ourselves and running away from the truth, we must face the truth and deal with it.”

In his remarks, the NPC chairman commended Obasanjo for conducting what he described as rancour-free census in 2006 during his administration.

Kwarra told Obasanjo that the commission had successfully completed pre-census activities in readiness for the general census.

Kwarra, who had earlier paid similar visits to Governor Dapo Abiodun and the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, said, “I’m glad to inform you that despite the security challenges confronting this country, we are carrying on with our activities so that we can provide for this country the much needed data for planning for our development.”

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