The Federal Government has once again postponed the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
A credible source who spoke with Daily Trust on Saturday, said the decision was reached yesterday after a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwarra.
The source, who does not want his name in print as he was not authorised to speak with the media, said the postponement was made due to the challenges the commission is facing to seamlessly carry out the exercise.
While he did not disclose the challenges to our reporter, the commission had previously suspended the training of adhoc staff who would carry out population count due to finance and logistic issues.
But when asked if a new date has been fixed, he said he can’t reveal it as the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, will make a broadcast on it today.
Recall that the Census was earlier scheduled for March 27 but was shifted to May 3 due to the earlier postponement of the gubernatorial elections.
Also, the chairman of the commission had on Thursday, during a meeting with the diplomatic corps in Abuja, stated that the commission was yet to get all the devices needed to carry out the census, noting that some devices will be procured in a few days’ time.
“For the country, we require up to 800,000 PADs, so far, we have procured about 500,000. The remaining are coming in a few days’ time,” he said.
On the donations for the census by the private sector and other key stakeholders, he said “But you know the way they operate; it is not as if the money will come like that. They have to talk with their own government and look at their budget. So, that process is ongoing. But we cannot say any money has come in. It is a process, and the process is unfolding.”
According to the source, the NPC chairman was accompanied to the State House by Dr Ipalipo Harry, NPC’s Rivers State Federal Commissioner; Dr Abdulmalik Durunguwa, NPC’s Kaduna State Federal Commissioner; Tellson Osifo Ojogun, the Director General of NPC and Ms. Evelyn Olanipekun, NPC’s Director of Census.
President Buhari Approves Postponement of 2023 Census
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, earlier scheduled for 3-7 May 2023, to a date to be determined by the incoming Administration.
The President gave the approval after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday (28 April 2023).
In arriving at the decision to postpone the Census, the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last Census, to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people.
The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, conduct of first and second pretests, the recruitment and training of adhoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses
The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.
The meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Honourable Minister of Information and Culture
29th April 2023