Tinubu pledges support for conduct of national census

Tinubu pledges support for conduct of national census

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reiterated his support for the National Population Commission, NPC, in conducting a comprehensive population and housing census in the country.

The President, in a statement, emphasized the necessity for the commission to be prudent in their duty and work toward generating trustworthy and reliable census data.

According to the statement, after receiving a briefing from NPC Chairman Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, the President expressed concerns about the country’s failure to conduct another enumeration since the last one in 2006.

He called on the commission to view this delay as an opportunity to take advantage of the current electronic and digital age.

”It is disappointing that up until now we have not been able to conduct another enumeration of our people. I hope that this delay will be converted to a great opportunity in this electronic and digital age.

”The challenge is yours and I hope that during the demarcation you did, you would have noticed the migration of people to urban centers because of the extreme poverty and unemployment.

”Digitalising the process will make your job easier and I don’t see why we don’t, by now, have a reliable database in Nigeria to identify ourselves and ascertain our numbers for planning purposes and in time of disaster.

”I have listened to you and we will support you. Accuracy and integrity of your data is very important to Nigerians and for our national economic development programmes.

”We will support you but you have to be prudent and be determined to make a name for yourself. Goodluck, ” the President said.

The NPC Chairman had highlighted that the Commission was on the verge of conducting the final Census training before being caught up with the transition program for a new government and funding issues, forcing the postponement of the exercise by the immediate-past President.

He updated the President on the status of the 2023 population and housing census, requesting the issue of a proclamation for a new census date later this year or early next year.

Alhaji Kwarra also highlighted the funding challenges faced by the Commission, saying that they are waiting on the President to support NPC and give the go-ahead for the conduct of the census.

He said the commission had demarcated the entire country, stating that only one or the two places were left and that this would be done soon.

The NPC Chairman said the commission had also trained 60,000 instructors that would further train enumerators and supervisors.

In a paper titled “Implementation Status of the 2023 Population and Housing Census,” the NPC requested the release of the allocated N31 billion capital allocation, in the 2023 budget, for preparatory activities.

The commission put the total cost of the census, after a methodology review at N546.72 billion.

Alhaji Kwarra also requested the President’s approval for an additional N225.2 billion to cover training and fieldwork allowances, retraining of trainers, and the conduct of a second-class Trial Census.

President Tinubu was also asked to approve and convene a stakeholders meeting with the organised private sector and foreign partners to galvanise funds for the census.

Alhaji Kwarra informed the President that Nigeria had developed a database that could be useful in national planning, infrastructure development, and revenue generation for the government.

”NPC having completed Mapping in March 2022, tested the market with the geospatial data by making it available to researchers at a ‘test price’ where it generated over N50 million through REMITA.

”To this end, with a full integrated spatial and statistical data, government geospatial policy and coordination, NPC can generate up to 14 billion dollars and further save a lot of resources for the nation through automation of economic planning by 2028,” he said.

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