Genealogists normally think of census taking as a peaceful activity. Therefore it seems strange that the taking of the census is almost shutting down the nation of Nigeria. The streets of Nigeria's main cities are still as people have been told to stay at home and wait to be counted in the first census for 15 years. The normally congested streets in the capital of Lagos are eerily quiet as enumerators go from house -to house counting residents.
The full Nigerian census count will require five days to complete. The police have been instructed to prevent large-scale movements of people to stop individuals from being counted in different areas.
The headcount is sensitive because funding and political representation depend on the results. However, questions of religion and ethnicity have been left out. Questions being asked include:
- Educational background
- Size of house
- Type of water supply
- Toilet facilities
- Type of fuel used
- Access to radio, television, telephone
In the southeastern city of Enugu, some officials refused to carry out the census because they had not been paid. Nigerian police officials also raised an alarm over moves by suspected armed robbers who are expected to pose as enumerators with a view to robbing their victims during the census exercise.
Nigeria is Africa's most populous country. Estimates of its population range from 120 to 150 million.
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