PUBLIC POLICY IMPLEMENTATION IN NIGERIA AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
1.1 Background of the Study
Recording human numbers using statistical method is not a recent phenomenon. It is the method used for collection, analyzing and interpreting of numerical data relating to a certain area of investigation as well as for drawing valid conclusion in situations of uncertainty and variability. The statistical knowledge is important for effective national planning equitable governance and planning for the future. It also serves as a basis for resource distribution such as revenue allocation, constituency representation, employment, the sitting of industries and social amenities (hospitals, school, post office, road and police stations); and the allocation of legislative seats for each in federal and state house of assembly.
Due to these population, recorded census in Nigeria has become politicalized, the political elites has come to understand the degree to which recording human numbers determined the population of government amenities distributed to them and their economic and political weight within their society.
These had come to manipulation and falsification of population census figures of groups or regions within the country. The political and economic development in Nigeria would have been much easier if reliable population data were available, because the absent of trustworthy or accurate population data directly affects the government’s inability to ensure balanced political representation and equal access to important governmental resources.
This use of biometric technology for population census and identification will help Nigerian government to identify and have data records of its citizens which will enhance political and economic representation of each group and region in the country. Public policy may be conceptualized as decision making at the federal government level. It may be perceived as a general rule or principle within an organization which is meant to guide future decisions or plans or actions. The national population policy which was enunciated by the federal military government in 1988 and subsequently reversed in 2004 was designed to guide the behaviour of Nigerians in population matters. It is now nearby two decades since it came into being. It therefore becomes imperative for one to examine the extent this lofty policy has been fully implemented. The national policy on population to sustainable development covers a wide range of issues which included: population size, population growth rate, age structure, fertility, morbidity, population distribution, urbanization and migration, population projection and sources of population data.
Given the importance of data population and data-base as a critical tool for good planning and governance, Nigeria faces major challenges in developing a timely and high quality population data base. Major sources of population data in Nigeria include censuses, surveys, vital statistics and administrative record for the purpose of this study, the research will focus on census 1991/2006 because census is an instrument for capturing the population and population characteristics of the entire country. Population census is a project design to achieve item “19” amongst the objectives of the policy which state- improve the population, social, economic data based, promote and support population, and development research and help leadership groups recognize the important contribution that planning and data utilization make to the good governance of Nigeria.
After the conduct of 1991 and 2006 censuses it was expected that government can plan effectively to combine the incidence of poverty since data on covering various aspects of the census had been make available. Rather the World Bank after conducting its survey on human resources and poverty in 2006 reported that 43 percents of the population was living below the poverty line. This report has in gendered a critical question has accurate in our population data? Is it as all been made use of by government for planning and development purpose? Given the above scenario, this study seeks to evaluate that factor which undermined the effective implementation of 1991/2006 census, with a view to measure how it meets the “19” objective of the population policy.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
According to the population policy, an accurate and up to data population data base is a critical tool for good planning and good governance. To generate and develop a timely and high quality database Nigeria conducted a census in 1991 and 2006 respectively and it plans to conduct another on in 2021. It is expected that data generated through the census would meet objective “19” of the population policy provided for an improvement on the population, social and economic database promote and support population and development research, and help leadership groups recognize the important contribution that planning and data utilization make to the good governance of Nigeria. The arm of the policy being to improve the quality of life and achieve sustainable development in Nigeria.
After many years of implementing the population policies, through the conduct of 1991 and 2006 population census, the goal of the policy which is to improve the quality of lives and achieve sustainable development have not been achieved. The above situation was captured strongly by the World Bank when it reported in 2006 that 43 percentage of the population was living below the poverty line. The findings raise questions concerning the implementation of the 1991/2006 census (es). In both census (es) were the enumeration areas covering the entire country thoroughly delineated was there a through enumeration of the entire country? For planning and development related matters did government make use of the figures published? Given the above questions this study seeks to evaluate the factors which undermined the effective implementation of the census 1991/2006 projects. Findings from the study will enable us assess the level of the implementation of the census project to ascertain if it has met the goals of the population policy.