N291b Has Been Committed By FG for 2023 Census – Minister

by Opeyemi Alimi
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Clem Agba

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has disclosed that the Nigerian government has injected a sum of N291.5 billion ($632million) for the conduct of the 2023 population and housing census.

Agba made this known, on Monday, at the high-level partners’ engagement to galvanize support for the 2023 population and housing census, held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

According to Vanguard News, this amount said by the Minister was just 46 percent of the total money the National Population Commission would need to have a concrete exercise.

The minister added that an additional and immediate sum of N327.2 billion ($ 709.9 million) is required to complete the census.

In his words, “The total requirement for the Census (including post Census activities) is N869 billion ($1.88b). Census requirement – N626b ($1.36b) which is about $6 per capita (just slightly above the threshold of up to $5 per capita). Post-Census (up to 2025) – N243b ($527m).

“So far, the Government has committed N291.5 billion ($632m) to the Census, making it 46 percent of total funding for the Census. An Additional (immediate) sum of N327.2b ($709.9m) is required to complete the Census.”

Agba further disclosed that the census exercise was to be conducted last year, but rescheduled for March 2023, however, there is a recommendation that it should be held in May, 2023.

He said, “The last Census in Nigeria was conducted in 2006. In 2014, the previous government proposed another census for 2016 in line with the UN recommendation for Decennial Census.

“That administration however exited in 2015 without accomplishing the wish. From 2015 to 2016 the country slipped into a recession due to crash in oil price and production.

“In 2018/2019, government recommitted to the conduct of the census. In 2020, Covid-19 disrupted plans for the exercise. The census was rescheduled for March 2023, but now recommended to hold in May 2023. In 2021/2022, funds were appropriated for the Census. The Census was initially planned for 2022, but was moved to 2023, after the elections.”

In her opening remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, said that the federal government envisages a credible census exercise with the use of digital technology, adding that the 2023 Census will be involving the use of digital maps.

She said, “We look forward to a census that employs extensive use of digital technology for credible, reliable, and acceptable outcomes; and provides accurate and well-disaggregated data for strategic planning and policy making.

“I am pleased to intimate you that the 2023 Population and Housing Census will be Green Census involving the use of digital maps, digital questionnaire and cloud computing to ensure compliance with the global climate change campaign for reduction of emission by 30 percent unconditionally and an additional 15 percent conditionally by the year 2030.”

Giving his closing remarks, Chairman, National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed for their unflinching support and resources towards a credible census.

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