The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, has said the commission is prepared to conduct a nationwide census from June 2021.
He said NPC is ready to conduct a census from mid-2021 to early 2022.
The chairperson said this at a press conference yesterday titled ‘Accelerating Nigeria’s Demographic Dividend: Process and Progress so far’.
“On our part we are ready. We can start conducting census from June 2021 to early 2022”, he said.
He added that he is aware that the census has been delayed for five years and that the commission is in talks with the government to give them a directive.
The last national census was conducted in 2006.
“The issue of a census is at the front burner. We know that on our part we have already been delayed for about 5 years, but we are doing our best to speak with the government so that they can make a proclamation”, he said.
Kwarra said the commission has begun the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in preparation for the possible census.
“We have been conducting enumeration area demarcation in the country; we’ve covered 460 local governments. Right now we’re undertaking the exercise in 96 local governments throughout the country and by the end of June, we are hoping to finish the 774 local governments,” he said.
The EAD is the process of delineating the entire land area of the country into small geographical and demographic units called enumeration areas.
The EAD is a preparatory exercise for the actual census.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved N10 billion for the EAD exercise back in October.
He also approved an additional N4.5 billion to be included in the 2021 budget for completion of the exercise as part of the preparations for the next census.
Kwarra said Nigeria was one of the African Union (AU) member states to respond to the AU’s mandate to develop and launch a Nigeria roadmap on ‘Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through investment in Youth’ back in July.
To this effect, he launched two documents, The Nigeria Demographic Dividend Effort ScoreCard and The Nigeria Demographic Dividend Policy Brief.
According to the chairperson, “the Gates Institute established collaboration with the AU and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to develop the scorecards as a participatory tool for assessing the existence of DD favourable and high impact policies.”
He said it would also be used in compiling high return on investment policies and corresponding indicators to allow countries to generate snapshots of their progress towards reaping demographic dividends.
“For the pilot stage, six countries selected for this project are Kenya, Senegal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia,” he said.
He said the scorecard would permit periodic performance assessment of the commission’s performances at different levels guided by the roadmap launched in 2017.
“Equally the policy brief contains recommendations that will arouse the consciousness of policy and decision-makers to sustain commitment and take responsibility to address issues highlighted for attention in the brief,” he said.
He said the documents would be circulated to all necessary stakeholders.
“We will conduct a nationwide dissemination of the scorecards and policy briefs with the support of the media,” he said.