The Federal Government has shifted the population and housing census earlier scheduled for March 29, 2023, to May 2023.

This was announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja on Wednesday, 15 March 2023.

Mohammed explained that the decision to postpone the census was necessitated by the rescheduling of the gubernatorial election to March 18.

The minister said that FEC also approved N2.8 billion for the procurement of software for the National Population Commission (NPC) for the conduct of the National Census in May 2023.

Election responsible for rescheduling of census

  • Mohammed said, “There was a memo presented by the National Population Commission, seeking some software to allow them to conduct the census in May this year. I believe because of the rescheduling of the elections, they cannot commence the census as scheduled.
  • “They sought Council’s approval for a contract to procure software for the census at the sum of N2.8 billion.”

FEC has also approved the Nigeria Agenda 2050, a plan aimed at increasing real GDP growth by seven percent, creating N165 million in new jobs, and reducing the number of people living in poverty to 2.1 million in 2050.

This is coming about 29 months after President Buhari inaugurated the National Steering Committee for the preparation of the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021 to 2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050.

The overall objective is to take Nigeria through to an Upper Middle-Income Country and subsequently to the status of a High-Income country by 2050.

For the record

Recall that on March 6, 2023, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, revealed that over $1.88 billion (N869 billion) was needed to conduct the exercise.

In April 2022, the federal government announced that it would conduct the census in April 2023 after the elections.

Agba at a high-level partner engagement in Abuja said the federal government has provided 46% of the budget.

He said there still remains an outstanding of N327.2 billion needed to carry out the census effectively.

  • The minister said, “The total requirements for this census, including the post-census activities, is N869 billion, this is about 1.88 billion US dollars.
  • “When you hear the numbers, they really look very huge. Censuses all over the world, the average is between four to six dollars. However, in the United States, they spend $16 per person. In Botswana, they spend about $10 per person. So Nigeria’s $6 per person, you’ll agree with me, is very reasonable.
  • “So far, the government has spent 291.5 billion naira which is $632 million. This is about 46 percent of the requirement for the census. I know this time around we’re not just doing only the population census, we’re also doing a housing census.
  • “So the additional requirements for the critical items to ensure the census is done is 327.2 billion naira. This is about 709.9 million US dollars.”