The governor of Oyo State; Engr Seyi Makinde has said that the population of the state should not be anything less than 15 million and said any figure below that is false and inaccurate.
Speaking in Ibadan on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ forum organized by NPC, Makinde, who was represented by his deputy, Bayo Lawal, said NPopC had not been fair to Oyo State in the last censuses.
He called on the people of the state to cooperate with NPopC officials during the exercise while describing it as an important economic and other planning by the government.
Lawal said, “Census is very important for us as a government. It is not about politics, religion or culture. It is about the number of people in each local government, the state and Nigeria.
“By my experience, NPopC has not done well for us. Chief Obafemi Awolowo said the 1973 census was unrealistic and since then, they started projection. The 1991 census was worse than that of 1973. I am saying this as the government of Oyo State and you take it to your headquarters that they are shortchanging Oyo State.
“We learnt in school that Ibadan is the largest city in West Africa. Aside from Ibadan, there are other cities like Ogbomoso, Oyo, Saki, Eruwa, Oke-Ogun. But now they said Kano, Kaduna and Rivers States are bigger than Oyo State. Why do some small states have more population than Oyo State?
“Census is very important. Let all monarchs support it. It is used for economic consideration.
“All hands must be on deck. It should not be left for the government alone. This government is ready to support the NPopC in order to carry out an accurate census.
“As it stands today, the population of Oyo State from NPopC is not up to 10 million.
“Be accurate and impartial. Declare what you capture. If the population of the state is less than 15 million, it is false and inaccurate. Do your work accurately.’’