Reasons for insincere data collection in Nigeria

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census in Nigeria

Census exercises in Nigeria seem to be among the most ridiculed national activities in Nigeria. Some people from the southern Nigeria accuse the northerners of officially inflating the census number to include the number of their cows and goats. The northerners return the accusation saying that southerners inflate their census population to accommodate their ‘ewedu’ in the West and ‘akpu’ in the East. However, one thing is obvious, there has never been an accurate data collection or presentation in Nigeria. Reasons for this insincere data collection and presentation in Nigeria may not be far-fetched.

A young man described how most people he had observed apply perfumes. He wrote: when applying your own perfume, you spray fuu fuu, that’s all. But when applying other people’s perfumes, you first of all shake it well, before you begin to spray fuuuuu fuuuuu, shiiiiii shiiiii, shaaaa shaaaa waaaa waaaand waaaaaaa!! Even when the owner seeks to collect the perfume from you, you still beg to apply again to the trouser, noting that the trouser is dirty. (has perfume become soap?) Expenses doesn’t ever seem enough when it comes from another person’s pockets. Most people tend to remember all their seen and unseen needs when other people spend, but these same people quickly apply scale of preference and tough austerity measures when they have to spend their own resources.

The most precious commodity of national interest in Nigeria now is crude oil, which is deposited in the Niger Delta area, but according to Nigeria’s mineral and mining act is owned jointly by Nigerians. The foreign exchange obtained by the sale of this crude oil has been constantly distributed to the different regions of the country, often according to the reflection of the population presented and also according to the regional disposition of the person in charge of the particular administration. Hence, the more the population a region presents, the more local governments, federal constituencies and allocations it is likely to get from the ‘jointly owned’ oil plaza abi na oil centre.

Secondly, the more population a region presents weighs in during the general elections for possible validation of printed and unprinted ballot papers allocated to the region according to the census figure. It is commonly believed that the election winner becomes the sharer of the dividends from the oil plaza, and thus, can influence the quantity of the shares going to a particular region from the oil-plaza.

From the way the nation has been structured to maintain unitary abi na joint ownership of rights to all lands with mineable mineral resources, this insincerity may never stop and there may never be any real effort to develop the productive capacity of other regions for the engagement of youthful intellect and labour in those regions. ‘Our own na our own’mentality makes the use of proceeds from crude oil a commodity to be gulped by greedy representatives and wasted at will.

This is why Nigerian youths are enjoined to learn the principles of social organization, especially at Restartnaija, and to get ready for the moment to make informed demands.