Nigeria Removes Religion & Ethnicity Questions from 2023 Census


The National Population Commission (NPC) said the 2023 Population and Housing Census would not ask questions on religion and ethnicity.

The commission said the decision was reached after extensive consultation with stakeholders, taking into consideration the sensitive nature of these two issues in Nigeria.

In a statement, the director of public affairs of the commission, Isiaka Yahaya, noted that religion and ethnicity are, arguably, important indices in the demographics of any country.

He, however, stated that due to the volatile nature of these items in our national discourse, it was agreed that religion and ethnicity should not be included in the census questionnaire in order to insulate the census process and outcomes from unnecessary controversies.

The commission therefore urges the general public to cooperate with its enumerators to ensure a successful Trial Census exercise in its quest to deliver to the country a credible, reliable and acceptable census.

According to the statement: “The attention of the National Population Commission has been drawn to a misleading WhatsApp message which claimed that the next Population and Housing Census will canvass questions on religion.

The message alleged that there are some parts (of the questionnaire) where respondents are required to tick their religion however, Islamic religion has been divided into (sects) while Christianity has not, the objective, as alleged, is to show that Muslims “are small in the country.

For the avoidance of doubt, the 2023 Census and the ongoing Trial Census, like previous censuses of 1991 and 2006, have no questions on religion and ethnicity.
The commission calls on all to disregard the fake and misleading message which is clearly the antics of mischief makers.”