Technical and political aspects of the 2006 Nigerian population and housing Census

  • Oka Obono University of Ibadan, Ibadan
  • Elizabeth Omoluabi University of the Western Cape
Keywords: Census, Political interference, Ethnicity, Technical aspects, Comptroller.


Nigeria’s last census was in 2006. If the decennial rule is followed, the country is barely three years away from another headcount. In this paper, we examine the technical and political aspects of that census in order to derive lessons for subsequent censuses. The focus is not on the census results but rather on the processes leading up to and including the actual enumeration. We describe the connections between population size, revenue allocation and political representation as a means of understanding the social and political dynamics that could undermine the execution of a technically adequate census. These connections are examined through reference to logistic, recruitment and enumeration procedures of the 2006 Nigerian Census. We argue that, like most post-independence Censuses before it, there were motivation and opportunities for manipulating the Census figures. These parameters have not changed.

Author Biographies

Oka Obono, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
Department of Sociology
Elizabeth Omoluabi, University of the Western Cape
Department of Statistics