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2023 census will boost security, national development – Buhari

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PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has said the national census scheduled for 2023 would boost Nigeria’s security and development.

Buhari said this on Thursday while addressing the National Stakeholders’ Summit on the planned census at the State House, Abuja, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina.

“The nation requires a new data set to drive the implementation of the recently launched revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development and other government policies.

“The 2023 census data is also needed to tackle the security challenges bedevilling the country as it will give an overview of the population, where we are and who we are,” the President said.

He explained that the deployment of technology by the National Population Commission (NPC) to conduct the first fully digital census in the country would enhance the data quality, inspire the confidence of Nigerians and acceptability of the census results.

Buhari also affirmed his administration’s confidence in the Commission to deliver a reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census.

While decrying the delay in conducting a census in Nigeria since 2006, he argued that the delay had created an information vacuum, adding that the data from the last census were out of date for planning purposes.

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The President said a reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census would help the government plan for development and bolster social security programmes targeting more vulnerable citizens.

According to him, Nigeria could rank third largest country globally in population by 2050, after China and India.

The President said population census in Nigeria had been conducted irregularly and at intervals, longer than the United Nations’ recommended ten years.

“This irregular and long interval of census taking in Nigeria have denied the nation the huge benefits of comprehensive baseline data for evidence-based decision-making,” he noted.

He opined that knowing Nigeria’s population and using the data to plan for the people and future generations remained a collective duty owed the nation.

“We must all resolve that this duty is satisfactorily carried out in the firm belief that what has joined us together as a nation and our common destiny are far stronger than the negative forces that tend to drive us apart,” he reasoned.

The President called on all stakeholders to support the exercise.

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