Babatunde Fashola, former Lagos state governor, says discrepancies in head count figures conducted by the state and that of the federal government showed a “government magic”, suggesting it was falsified. Fashola said this at the launch of three books – The Great Leap: Speeches of Governor Babatunde Fashola,’ In Bold Print: Thoughts Of Babatunde Fashola,’ and ‘The Lagos Blow Down – on his service as governor. “…During the last census exercise in 2006, we worked with the National Population Commission, NPC then. When they returned a number of over nine million, it was clear that it has become Fela’s words, government magic,” he said. Fashola said the nation must present accurate headcount figures in its quest for rapid development. He added that “the entrench practice of manipulating census figures in the country is impeding the nation’s economic growth and development”.
“Given the people that we are and from the people who did our first census now owing up that figures were falsified, the responsibility is on us to get it right in 2016; I say this, because data, in my view, is important. If the work of government is to provide services to people, its efficiency will be determined by its knowledge of how many people need service.
And therefore without accurate census figures, it may seem that we are not determined to head on the path of development. The numbers have changed from 160 million to 170 million and sometimes we now hear of 180 million.”