….Urges Tinubu to declare date for population, housing census exercises
Juliet Akoje in Abuja
The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Population to investigate the money expended on the postponed 2023 Population and Housing Census by the National Population Commission, NPC, and liaise with NPC to ensure a successful population and housing census when scheduled.
The House also urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare a date for the population and housing census exercises and conduct the 2023 population and housing census to facilitate accurate economic planning.
These resolutions followed the adoption of a motion on the Need to Investigate the Expenditure on the Postponed 2023 Population and Housing Census by the National Population Commission and Conduct of the National Population/Housing Census moved by Hon. Dominic Okafor and Hon. Patrick Umoh.
While presenting the motion, Okafor noted that census provides accurate population data crucial for development planning, policy formulation, resource allocation, and government program implementation, especially at a time when the federal government in conjunction with state governments are working on giving palliatives to vulnerable citizens and also planning other social services.
He also noted that the NPC in Nigeria conducts periodic censuses, surveys, and other methods to enumerate the country’s population, providing data for national planning and economic development.
His words: “The national census was last conducted in Nigeria in 2006 and the 2023 census, which was scheduled for May 2023, was postponed by the National Population Commission; The data collected in the 2006 Population Census is far from reality in 2023 and cannot validly form a solid base for the formation of national economic policies that will aid the federal government in administering viable national planning.”
The lawmaker recalled that the NPC has admitted to having spent two hundred billion Naira (N200, 000, 000, 000) as part of the eight hundred billion Naira (N800, 000, 000, 000) budgeted for the planning mid-execution of the 2023 population and housing census, which was postponed.
He further recalled that the financial investment in 2023 population census planning would have improved economic planning and distribution of palliatives in the country.
“The National Population Commission remarks, that if the population and housing census fails to take place within 12 months, the information gathered across the country would become stale, a waste of resources and the country would have to increase costs of gathering fresh information,” he said.
Aware that the NPC, led by the Chairman, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, expressed readiness to conduct a population and housing census during a visit to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on July 6, 2023.
The House further urged the federal government to, on fixing a date for the census, constitute Census Tribunals in designated centres in accordance with Section 28 of the NPC Act, 2004 and also urged the NPC not to relent in its preparation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.