Again! Census risks postponement 12 days to deal day, see why

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Census risks postponement over funding, logistic problems

Twelve days before the planned start of the national population and housing census, there are indications that it may be shifted due to funding and other logistical challenges.

According to reports on Friday, the National Population Commission may have to reschedule the census due to a lack of funds.

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Read Also: Census 2023: FG postpones training for NPC enumerators, supervisors

Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, announced earlier this month that the Federal Government intended to create a basket fund to collect donations for the 2023 population and housing census.

He made the announcement during a high-level partner engagement in Abuja to solicit support for the census.

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Agba had stated that a total of N869 billion was required for the census, adding that the government had committed N291.5 billion to it, while an additional N327.2 billion required.

“The total requirement for the census (including post-census activities) is N869 billion ($1.88 billion): census requirement – N626 billion ($1.36 billion), which is about $6 per capita (just slightly above the threshold of up to $5 per capita); post-census (up to 2025) is N243 billion ($527 million).”

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“To date, the government has committed N291.5 billion ($632 million) to the census, accounting for 46% of total funding.” To complete the census, an additional (immediate) sum of N327.2bn ($709.9m) is required.”

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“The last census in Nigeria was in 2006,” he explained. The previous government proposed another census for 2016 in 2014, in accordance with the UN recommendation for a decennial census.

Also Read: Sowore slams Buhari for begging Nigerians to forgive him, use strong word

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“However, that administration left office in 2015 without fulfilling the wish.” The country entered a recession from 2015 to 2016 as a result of the drop in oil prices and production.

“The government recommitted to conducting the census in 2018/2019.” COVID-19 disrupted exercise plans in 2020. The census was rescheduled for March 2023, but it is now recommended that it take place in May 2023. The census has been budgeted for 2021/2022. The census was originally scheduled for 2022, but it was pushed back to 2023 following the elections.”

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The census was eventually moved from May 3 to May 5, 2023, implying that it has been moved twice during the presidency of  Muhammadu Buhari.

Agba went on to say that the basket fund would be managed by the United Nations Population Fund, which was also providing technical and financial assistance to the NPC.

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The minister urged members of the private sector to either donate money or offer to purchase some of the census materials.

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