FG postpones population census to May

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

The Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing the State House correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) weekly meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, March 15.

The minister explained that the decision to shift the census was necessitated by the postponement of the gubernatorial and state assembly elections to March 18.

Mohammed also disclosed that the council approved N2.8 billion for the National Population Commission (NPC) to procure some software to be used for the conduct of the census.

“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,” he said.

On March 11, the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Nasir Kwarra, hinted that the rescheduling of the governorship and state assembly elections may affect the commencement of the 2023 national housing and population census.

Kwarra, who said this on March 7, in Abuja, maintained that the census was sacrosanct.

The Minister of State Budget Clement Agba, had also disclosed that out of the  N889 billion required to conduct the census, only N291.5 billion had been committed by the government.

    Agba made this known while speaking during a ‘high level partners’ engagement’ on the 2023 population and housing census on March 7,  in Abuja.

    “The total requirement for the Census (including post Census activities) is N869 billion.

    “Census requirement is N626b, which is about $6 per capita (just slightly above the threshold of up to $5 per capita). Post-Census (up to 2025) – N243b ($527m).

    “So far, the government has committed N291.5 billion ($632m) to the census, making it 46 percent of total funding for the census. An additional (immediate) sum of N327.2bn ($709.9m) is required to complete the census,” Agba said.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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