Article summary

  • The National Population Commission said it has spent N200 billion on preparations for the 2023 census, which has since been postponed.
  • The Commission it has already recruited 1 million adhoc staff for the exercise even as it laments high cost of digital census.
  • A new date for the census is expected to be fixed by the incoming administration of Bola Tinubu.

The National Population Commission (NPC) said it has spent about N200 billion to prepare for the 2023 population and housing census.

This amount is part of the N800 billion it expected from the Federal Government as the total budget, including the cost of more than five years of preparation.

Executive Chairman of the Commission, Nasir Kwarra, made the declaration at a breakfast meeting with media executives on Thursday. Kwarra said the cost of conducting a digital census was high considering the procurement of equipment and data required for the exercise.

He said the Commission recruited about one million personnel in a bid to conduct a credible and acceptable digital census. He reiterated its commitment to a credible and acceptable census and urged the media to sustain the tempo of publicity.

Foundation for future census

While noting that the current efforts is not just for the 2023 census but to lay foundation for future census, Kwarra said:

  • “It is important to sustain the tempo of the preparation for the census. The focus of the Commission is to lay a foundation for future censuses.’’

Also speaking, Inuwa Jalingo, Census Manager, stated that the Commission worked round-the-clock to conduct a digital census. Jalingo said the NPC already set up a robust quality dashboard and data for a credible census.

What you should know

The 2023 census, which was earlier scheduled to hold between May 3-7, this year, was postponed by President Muhammadu Buhari to a date to be determined by the incoming administration.

The president approved the postponement 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 ad-hoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructure, 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 an 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.