You thought India has a problem with Census and we do not really know the exact number of people living in India? Take succor from the fact that you are not Nigeria.
Africa’s most populous country, no one really knows how much in the population of the country and no census has ever arrived at the correct figure. The latest census conducted in 2015 puts the figure at 182 million – this is as per the World Bank and its figure is based on the 2006 census but National Population Commission (NPC) says that neither one is right.
Counting Nigerians has caused controversy since the colonial era as the Southern side was dominated by Christian two British colonies and the north is Muslim-dominated. As is the way all around the world, Parliamentary seats and central government money are handed out to states based on population, giving politicians an incentive to inflate the numbers. In Nigeria, the allegation stands that Northern side numbers are manufactured to show a majority. The censuses of 1973 and 1991 were annulled. In 2006 arguments rose when northern state showed 9.4 million people while 9 million in South. In fact the South did it own census and put the figure at 17.5 million. A new national census has been repeatedly delayed and as of now is scheduled for 2018 but no one is holding their breath as this is likely to be postponed further.
This is dangerous as the Govt has to use its politicking or depend on irrelevant data and accordingly earmark resources and funds. So money will go to places where it is not needed and schemes will get not introduced where it is desperately needed. Yes, government policy will not be fully anchored in reality and that’s a big price to pay.