Kwarra: No Fixed Date Yet for National Census

•Tinubu swears in 17 NPC commissioners

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, yesterday, disclosed that the Commission was yet to be given a new date for the conduct of the national population and housing census.

Speaking to newsmen after the swearing in of 17 NPC commissioners at the State House, Abuja, Kwarra, said the commission had made recommendations to President Bola Tinubu and was awaiting his approval.

Asked when the census was likely to hold, the NPC boss said: “No date has been approved for us yet but we have made recommendations to Mr President and we are awaiting his approval.”

Speaking on the importance of the swearing in of the commissioners, Kwarra said, the oath taking marked a critical step in assisting the commission to carry on the preparation for the conduct of the census.

He said: “Today, we witnessed the swearing in of 17 commissioners. Last two weeks, we had one from Lagos State. We still have three more outstanding to make the full commission. So we like to seize the opportunity to thank Mr. President for this appointment and for making sure that there’s no vacuum created in the commission.

“This marks a critical step in assisting the commission to carry on the preparation for the conduct of the census”.

On how the new appointment would impact on the task head, Kwarra said: “It actually positions us very well in the preparation for the census. You know it’s a national thing, so we have to be in every state of the federation, preparing for the census.

“If we don’t have a commissioner from that state, the pace for the preparation for the census will slow down because the director in the state alone cannot handle it.”

Tinubu, had before the commencement of Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting, sworn-in 17 commissioners of NPC at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

Nine of the Commissioners were re-appointed and sworn-in for the second term while eight others freshly appointed were also sworn-in.

The oath taking process of the commissioners were conducted in three batches of six, six and five.

The Senate recently confirmed 17 out of the 19 NPC commissioners nominated by President Tinubu on February 21, 2023, after the adoption of the screening report of the Committee on National Identity Card and Population at the Committee of the Whole.

Those sworn in were Emmanuel Eke (Abia),  Chidi Ezeoke (Anambra),  Alex Ukam (Cross River), Blessyn Brume-Maguha (Delta) and Jeremiah Nwankwegu (Ebonyi).

Others included Sa’adatu Garba (Kaduna), Aminu Tsanyawa (Kano), Yori Afolabi (Kogi), Mary Afan(Plateau) and Ogiri Henry (Rivers)

Those returned are Isa Buratai (Borno), Tony Alyejina (Edo), Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Ejike Ezeh (Enugu), Abubakar Damburam (Gombe), Uba Nnabue (Imo) and Sani Sale (Taraba).

Tinubu had at the launch of the Digital Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System, and the National Geospatial Data Repository at the State House, Abuja, last year, assured that the federal government would support NPC in the conduct of the next census.  “Our population remains the greatest asset of the nation in the development process.

“Collecting accurate and reliable information on the size, distribution, composition, and characteristics of the population is an essential governance activity that is also consistent with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

“The Commission will therefore be supported in the conduct of the next census,” Tinubu had assured.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the postponement of the 2023 Population and Housing Census earlier scheduled between May 3 and 7 to a date to be determined by the Tinubu administration, which took over on May 29, 2023.

In July 2023, the NPC Chairman, after meeting with Tinubu, had said the President would announce new dates for the census, adding that the delay in the conduct of the census will incur more expenses to the N200 billion earlier earmarked for the exercise.

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