Nigeria Needs N222bn to Conduct 2018 Census

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The National Population Commission says Nigeria needs N222 billion to conduct national census in 2018

| By Anayo Ezugwu | Nov 7, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |

FOLLOWING the call on the federal government by the Senate to conduct national census in 2018, the National Population Commission, NPC, has said that the country required N222 billion to conduct accurate, reliable and accepted national population and housing census.

Eze Duruiheoma, chairman, NPC, said technologies to be deployed into the conduct of the next census exercise are more sophisticated than that of 2006.

Duruiheoma, who disclosed this during a session with the members of the Senate Committee on National Identity Cards and National Population Commission, on an oversight visit, said the N222 billion budget proposals by the commission were to cover pre-census, the census, and the post census expenditures.

“For the census which we proposed, I want to give you some background information, in preparing for this census, since 2015, we have regularly hinted that given the resources we will be prepared to do a census in 2016. And we stated how the resources would be made available. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. When that didn’t happen, of course, we submitted a budget at that time.”

He said when another proposal to conduct the exercise in 2017 couldn’t happen again, the commission came up with a proposal to hold the census in 2018. “The commission will therefore require the support and guidance of the Senate Committee on Population in order to achieve its mandate of managing Nigeria’s population for sustainable development.

“Adequate and timely release of fund is one critical issue that defines the success or otherwise of a census programme. We expect the senate committee to ensure that the funding challenge of the 2018 census is overcome. For a nationwide project like the census, there will be the need to put in place appropriate legal regime for its effective execution. The commission looks forward to the senate committee to ensure that required legislations on the next census are passed.

“Specifically, the commission will require the support of the senate committee in ensuring that periodic conduct of the population censuses in Nigeria is included in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The task of mobilising the stakeholders and the general public against the background of public apathy and stereotypes can indeed be a daunting task. There will be the need to involve role models and goodwill ambassadors in the census campaign.

“The commission will count on the distinguished senators as opinion leaders to deploy their immense goodwill in enrolling the support of key government functionaries, traditional institution, civil society groups, religious bodies and indeed the generality of Nigerians for the census.”

The NPC chairman also informed the committee of the intention of the commission to convene a national summit on the next census in the first quarter of 2017.

“The objective of the summit is to deepen national understanding and imperatives for the conduct of the next census and solicit the cooperation and support of stakeholders it its successful conduct.”

The Senate had on Tuesday, October 18, called on the federal government to set the machinery in motion to conduct housing and population census in 2018. The Senate also urged the government to make adequate provision of fund for the exercise. The Senate in a motion by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, titled “A call for The Federal Government to Expedite Action on the Planned 2018 National Census,” reminded the government of constitutional provision for conduct of census.

Hunkuyi recalled that the last census was conducted in 2006 during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, adding that by the 10-year provision for the exercise to be conducted, it ought to be in this year. He said delay in the issuance of a proclamation by President Buhari and poor release of funds to the NPC was major setbacks to the conduct of the exercise.

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