DR Betta Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation has tasked the management of the National Population Commission (NPC) to come-up with accurate population data that would assist the ministry in planning humanitarian interventions across Nigeria.
Edu made the call on Monday when she met with leadership of NPC led by its Chairman Mr Nasir Kwara in Abuja.
She said the data will help in planning and implementation of the ministry’s mandate of lifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty and humanitarian crises through the renewed hope agenda.
”We have the chairman and the entire team from the NPC here in the ministry seeking collaboration.
”You are important to us in terms of data for the delivery of our mandate.
”And of course which is the renewed hope Agenda by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, they are strong partners in the implementation of our mandate.
”From them we will be getting the total number of Nigerians which will help us to plan as we carry out our interventions.
She underscored the importance of population data that will help in delivering the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.
Edu said the commission remained a critical partner towards the success of humanitarian response especially in areas of demography.
“They will also be giving us specific data on the population of different demographics of the population.
”As well as persons who are below the poverty line and the dimension of the poverty, so that we can address them in our key interventions.
“What is most important is that they are going to be working with us at the grassroot especially as it concerns implementation, monitoring and evaluation” she said.
She also said, the ministry will be collaborating with the NPC to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the poverty alleviation and humanitarian response at the grassroot.
”They have staff on ground in various Wards, Local Governments and communities, and these staff are going to be collaborating with us.
“We will be setting up a technical team between the ministry and the commission to really flesh out various aspects of this collaboration.
“Beyond this, we’ll be working with their team on the geospatial digital mapping and statistics across the nation and this will help very detailed implementation of the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation.
”And of course, humanitarian issues in the entire country, so, for us, they are a very, very viable partner and we would be supporting them all the way through,” she said.
In his remarks, Kwara assured the minister of his unwavering commitment to support the ministry’s efforts in providing humanitarian interventions to vulnerable Nigerians.
Kwara expressed the federal government’s resolve to provide accurate population data against the current estimated 223 million.
The NPC chairman promised to avail the Ministry with data from the forthcoming population and housing census,
He said, the commission has identified 65 million houses during the trial census exercise conducted across the country.
According to him, the commission has also identified special population who are not living in normal steady homes including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), fishermen, herders, those living under the bridges, among others.
He also noted the commission has demarcated the 774 Local Government Areas across the country, and has maps of residential, offices, water bodies, among others.
While responding to inquiry on the actual population of Nigerians.
Kwara said: “Yes, she (Minister) did throw that question and I think it was a guiding question, to say that, as of now, we don’t have the actual number of people that we have.
“What we have is just an estimate, and we have done a lot of projections, right from the last census to the current population that we believe we are estimated 223 million in Nigeria, it’s an estimate is a projection.
“But to get the actual, we need to conduct census, we are able to provide in Nigeria, Nigerian public, Nigerian government, the global community with the actual population of Nigeria, its characteristics distribution and so on and so forth.
“We need Nigerians to support us as we go through the preparatory processes for the conduct of the census.
”Like she mentioned, we are also warehouse a lot of geospatial data that we can use because it is obtained through the use of GIS, GPS and satellite images. So, it’s very correct.
“With the proper coordinates of every building, every facility in this country even the water bodies that we have, the distribution of population, the household average size, and so on and so forth.
”There are things that once we conclude the census, we can use, but the geospatial data is already available, we can use it before the conduct of the next census” he said(NAN)
November 7, 2023 @ 6:04 GMT|