2018 population census to cost N222b, says NPC chair
The National Population Commission (NPC) is to spend N222 billion on the 2018 National Population and Housing Census, its Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, has said.
He said the money would pay for hand-held devices, engagement of 1.5 million field workers; training field officers and other activities.
Duruiheoma spoke in Akwanga, Nasarawa State, at the review workshop of Phases 1 and 2 of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) as well as training of trainers.
The commission, he said, was not unaware of concerns in some quarters about the affordability of its budget.
The NPC chief, however, noted that the benefit of the census outweighed financial considerations.
His words: “There is no better time to conduct a census than in this period of recession.
“Coming out of a recession is definitely a complex and difficult task that can be made easier through demographic data as a compass for economic revival.
“Census will serve as a guide in identifying human elements that can be exploited for development process and formation of people-responsive welfare programme.”
He said the fund would be used to conduct a scientific census to stand the test of time despite dwindling resources.
The chairman said the budget was spread over four years to handle different components of the census.
He noted that the EAD was the bedrock of census and the basis for planning and execution of the census project.
The NPC chief explained that the EAD involved the division of the country into small geographical areas to facilitate enumeration and scientifically verify doubts and contentions.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the EAD exercise is not the enumeration of persons living in the country and its outcome will not in any way determine the population of any community, local government or state,” he said.
He emphasised the need for the training the trainers’ exercise, saying: “The quality of the personnel for the EAD has great impact on the outcome.”
Duruiheoma said the commission would ensure the EAD was carried out meticulously, professionally and scientifically.
According to him, the 2018 census would be free of manipulation because it would be biometric-based, requiring the capture of finger-prints and facial impressions.
He said phase 3 of the EAD would be concluded by February 2017, when 74 local governments would have been demarcated.
Duruiheoma said it would involve two councils in each state and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said other local governments would be covered in subsequent phases depending on availability of funds.
The NPC chief urged Nigerians not to treat census as an extension of politics driven by narrow political consideration at the expense of national interest.
Chairman, Senate Committee on National Population and Identity Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi promised the NPC of the Senate’s support to ensure the successful conduct of the 2018 census.
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