According to a report made by Andrew Ligale-chaired Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission, which identified the present constituencies in 2010, a constituency should have an average of 133,138 people.
The figure, referred to as population quota, was arrived at after dividing the total population, which was slightly over 38,000,000, as at 2009 with the 290 constituencies.
Article 89 of the constitution on the delimitation of electoral units notes ‘…boundaries of each constituency shall be such that the number of inhabitants in the constituency is, as nearly as possible, equal to the population quota’.
It, however, allows for a constituency to be less or more than the quota on special occasions based on geographical features and urban centres; community of interest, historical, economic and cultural ties; and means of communication.
It is through this provision that constituencies were grouped into four; cities whose population is allowed at 40 per cent greater than the population quota, rural areas at 30 per cent more, those permitted at 30 per cent less than the population quota and sparsely populated areas allowed at 40 per cent less than population quota.
In 2009, some 27 constituencies were allowed to exist despite not meeting their various population quotas of 93,196.6 and 79,882.8.
The 27 constituencies are in the spotlight once more as new regulations will dictate that a constituency should be a minimum of about 170,000 people (Quota arrived at from the projection that the the population has grown to 50 million).
Most of them could still fail to achieve the minimum.