National population census to be held in April 2023

THE National Population Commission (NPC) has said the next Population and Housing Census in the country will be held in April 2023.

The last population and housing census in Nigeria conducted in 2006 put the country’s population at 140 million.

The chairman of the commission, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, disclosed this on Thursday after the Council of State meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said the pilot census would be conducted in June this year immediately after the political parties had completed their primary elections to produce candidates for 2023 general elections.

Speaking on the importance of the exercise, Isa Kwarra explained that the data obtained from census is used for policy making, planning and development by the three tiers of government and the private sector.

He said: “If you are a private sector, you’re producing something, certainly, you need to know the population of an area if you want to create a market there. So, census data is very crucial, very important.

“Because, the data we’ve been using are just projections, estimation, and are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning.”

The announcement that the population and housing census will be held in April 2023 differed from the Federal Government’s earlier disclosure that the exercise will take place in 2022.

The ICIR reported that Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed, had, at the public presentation and breakdown of the 2022 Appropriation Bill in October 2021, announced that the government will conduct a national population and housing census in 2022

The minister also disclosed that the sum of N178.09 billion had been budgeted for the population census exercise.






     

     

    In the absence of reliable information on the number of people in the country, Nigerian authorities have been relying on estimates from Worldometer, an arm of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, to guage the country’s population.

    At the moment, Nigeria’s population is estimated as 206 million people, according to details released by the National Population Commission (NPC) in 2020.

    The ICIR had also reported that the 2006 national population census was mired in controversy with the outcome dividing the country along regional lines.

    The result of the census was rejected by the South and endorsed by North.

    Nurudeen Akewushola is an investigative reporter and fact-checker with The ICIR. He believes courageous in-depth investigative reporting is the key to social justice, accountability and good governance in society. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 on Twitter.

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