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Lawmakers Demand That The National Census Be Conducted Immediately




Chairman and members of the House Committee on Population have called for the immediate conduct of the population and housing census to produce accurate data for national planning and development.

He said that the preparation for the census is already done by the NPC and too many delays may result in the buying of some items again.

Chairman, House Committee on Population, Hon Okunjimi John Odimayo, made the call during the budget defence by the chairman and management of National Population Commission (NPC) in Abuja.

Odimayo pointed out that NPC had reached an advanced stage in its preparations for the forthcoming Census.

He added that already over N250 billion had been expended on the preparations for the population and housing census, warning that if the delay continues, NPC would be compelled to buy some items again, which the commission had already bought.

He said, “We have just returned back from the retreat organised by the commission for the chairman and members, House Committee on Population. What I can say is that the commission is more than prepared to conduct population and housing census.

“The commission presented to us some of the major items that were purchased. They disclosed to us that they have gone far in preparation, up to 80 per cent. We are very much convinced that the NPC is ready for the census.

“So, against the backdrop of a motion calling for the investigation of how money was expended by the commission, with what we have seen so far, they have justified the fact that the money was not wasted.

“Some of the items they purchased were kept in the Central Bank of Nigeria. Some of the items such as indelible ink can no longer be used. As legislator, our concern is that this process should be completed. For the first time in Nigeria, the nation will have accurate data which will be useful for all sectors of the economy.”

Odimayo further underscored the need for Nigeria to have accurate and reliable data for planning, adding that with the conduct of the census, a plethora of nation’s challenges would be addressed. He noted that the security challenge plaguing the nation would be addressed with the proposed digital census.

He further underscored the need for the completion of the headquarters of the commission in Abuja, as well as provision of office accommodation in all local government areas.

In his presentation, the chairman of NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, reiterated the irrevocable commitment of the commission to conduct accurate and reliable data for the country.

Kwarra revealed that as part of preparations for the conduct of the census, the second trial census would be conducted, as well as update of enumeration area map; household listing and building number, training of enumerators, publicity as well as review of recruitment of ad-hoc staff for the census. He, therefore, solicited the support of the legislators to ensure the conduct of the forthcoming census.

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