Abuja - Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said an accurate population census was critical to the provision of adequate electricity supply in Nigeria.
He was speaking in Abuja during the monthly Power Sector Dialogue Series organised by the Nigeria Electricity Hub.
“It is important to know how many we are so as know how much power to provide, and the number of consumers to be supplied electricity,” Fashola said.
It is widely accepted Nigeria has a population of 140 million, the biggest in Africa.
However, controversy has surrounded official censuses.
pre-independence census figures in the 1950s was reputedly to allocate more seats in parliament to those they favoured in the north, and diminish the political influence of the south.
The censuses of 1963, 1973 and 1991 are also widely seen in the south as having deliberately underrepresented the southern population to justify the distribution of resources to the north.
The 2006 census, which was also marred by allegations of fraud and flaws, census cited a population of around 140 million.
Meanwhile, speaking in Abuja, Fashola said accurate demographic data was critical in the planning and provision of adequate electricity supply to the citizenry.
He lamented that lack of proper planning had hampered the delivery of electricity in the country over the years.
On the issue of metering, Fashola stated government had directed distribution companies to bridge the metering gap in the country so as to end the estimated billings of consumers.
The Minister further revealed that the existing contracts for 2 000 constituency electricity projects under the Rural Electrification Agency would soon be completed.
- CAJ News