Nigerian Census 2023 – Everything You Need to Know

photo of people in front of mosque during golden hour
  • Nigeria will hold its first census in 17 years
  • Originally scheduled for May 2023 – it has now been postponed
  • Over 190 Billion Naira has been allocated for this exercise

The last census in held in Nigeria was in 2006. A lot has changed since then. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and it is predicted by 2050, it will be the third most populous country in the world following only India and China.

The census is a challenging endeavor given the number of logistical issues facing the country. The census tries to record every household within the nation. Nigeria does not have the most accurate address and location data, let alone the ability to capture every rural household across the land.

The census is supposed to be completely digital, meaning no paper questionnaire will be issued. There will also be the use of satellite imagery to capture remote areas and domiciles. Canvassers may be needed to follow up with families to help record their responses.

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[This census will be 100% digital] Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

Why is the census important?

The census is important for several reasons. First, it provides the government and other stakeholders with accurate data on the size and distribution of the population. This data is used to plan and implement policies and programs in various sectors, such as health, education, transportation, and housing.

Second, the census is a tool for political representation. The data gathered is used to determine the number of seats each state and local government area (LGA) will have in the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly. It also determines the allocation of resources to states and LGAs.

Third, the census helps to identify the needs of specific population groups, such as women, children, and people with disabilities. This information is used to design and implement targeted interventions to improve their well-being.

In this census, they will not ask questions related to religion and ethnicity due to the sensitivity and potential problems that could occur. Nigeria has a history of religious and ethnic rivalry that could be exacerbated if this info was manipulated.

When will the census start?

No new date has been set for the 2023 census yet. Many are claiming a lack of funding and preparedness for the delay. It will now most likely fall into the hands of the next administration who will be inaugurated at the end of May.

Roman Kingsley

Journalist based in the United States and Nigeria, focusing on Real Estate Development and the stories emerging in and around the built environment.

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