THE National Population Commission (NPC) says it has sent over N200 billion on preparations for the 2023 national housing and population census.
The Commission disclosed that the money was mostly spent on printing of census materials and training of adhoc staff, among many other miscellaneous expenses.
Speaking during a meeting with media executives on Thursday, May 18, the Chairman of the Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, stated that N800 billion was budgeted for the census but the Federal Government allocated N224 billion for the exercise.
Isa-Kwarra stressed that the N200 billion spent was the initial release by the Federal Government.
“What we’ve been able to expend is about N200 billion. So the N800 billion is a budget and that budget covers the cost of conducting census in Nigeria. It is not that government has given us N800 billion but it is a budget and we believe that we may spend up to that or we may not spend up to that.
“To be straightforward, the Federal Government has actually provided N224 billion which we have utilised for the census so far.”
Isa-Kwarra further assured Nigerians that the 2023 census would be credible, adding that counting and numbering would be conducted in serene and secure environment despite security challenges in different parts of the country.
Also speaking at the event, the Federal Commissioner representing Oyo State in the Commission, and Chairman Public Affairs Committee, Eyitayo Oyetunji, explained that the census was postponed to allow the incoming government oversee the process.
“The census process continues. Even though it has been postponed and rescheduled, we want to make a statement that it has not been cancelled, the process is continuing.
“When President Muhammadu Buhari announced the postponement, he also charged us to continue activities while allowing the incoming government to become part of the process and own the process.”
The ICIR earlier reported that the National Population Commission (NPC) assured that the data generated from the 2023 population census would be used to address Nigeria’s problems.
Speaking to the Southern Kaduna Journalists Forum in Abuja on May 5, an NPC commissioner, Abdulmalik Durunguwa, said most of the country’s challenges would be addressed with the thorough conduct of the census.
Durunguwa stressed that the exercise would reveal Nigeria’s problems.
“The data that is required is more about where you reside and not your village or state because the essence of the data is to solve people’s problems wherever you are.”
He also noted the census would provide the government with a working document that would be used to respond to peculiar challenges affecting people residing in different parts of the country.
“Most of the population data currently in use in Nigeria is estimated. We need to know the actual number of poor among us, the number of out-of-school children, the poverty level and other indices.”
The ICIR also reported that security analysts noted that uncontrolled borders can undermine the credibility of 2023 census.
Speaking with The ICIR, the Head of Agent-X Security Agency, a security startup in Nigeria, Timothy Avele said poor border management can affect the census.
“Illegal migration can affect the outcome of the 2023 population census,” the Avele saud, noting that the Commission might be unable to identify peoples: nationality, which could result in inaccurate figures.
“The National Population Commission can end up with the wrong population figures. They currently do not have an effective method of identifying real Nigerians and non-Nigerians.”