Abuja - The National Population Commission on Thursday agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to enhance effective exchange of population data.
Festus Odimegwu, the NPC Chairman, made the plan known when he received INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, in his office in Abuja.
Odimegwu said the commission would collaborate with INEC to produce for the first time a 0.55 digital photograph of the entire country.
He described the photograph as "a satellite imagery that will be very clear to indicate every locality in the country”.
Odimegwu said that in the processes and outcome of election and census, the collaboration of the both commissions was inevitable, hence the need to have a unifying committee for data exchange.
He said the commission would collaborate with INEC to form a technical committee that could work as a team to exchange information or data to enhance reliable data for sustainable development.
Odimegwu described population as the most important equation in development process, which, if managed well, could be an asset but if otherwise, would be a liability.
"The commission is determined to purposefully manage the nation’s huge population into veritable vehicle for sustainable development and improved standard of living for the citizens,” he said.
Odimegwu said NPC was planning to have a national framework since there was no official certified data from the previous population exercise.
Odimegwu, however, promised to provide INEC with the necessary demographic data that would be accurate and reliable to facilitate smooth electoral operations.
On his part, Jega said that the constitution mandates INEC to review existing constituencies every 10 years and delimit them.
Jega said it was necessary to delimit the constituencies because the last time such exercise was carried out was 1996 when the military was in power.
He said demographic shifts occurred over the years and as such the commission needed to strengthen the credibility of electoral process by reviewing the constituencies before the next general elections.
Jega said it was necessary to delimit constituencies in such a way that there would not be any population disparities.
He solicited the support and collaboration of NPC in the areas of 2006 census data of all localities, digital maps of the enumeration areas and population of enumeration areas.