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President Tinubu To Announce Census Date, Says NPC Chair

President Bola Tinubu will announce new dates for Nigeria’s conduct of the national population and housing census, the Chairman of the National Population Census (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwarra, has said.

The NPC boss told State House correspondents on Thursday after his meeting with the President that further delay in the conduct of the census will incur additional expenses.

The census earlier scheduled for May 3 to 7, 2023 by the then administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari was postponed to a date to be determined by the Tinubu administration.

After a meeting with the President on Thursday, Kwarra said he briefed him on the commission’s preparations for the census.

He said the President was fully apprised of extant plans and processes for the exercise but noted that further delays in the conduct of the census will amount to additional cost for the government.

He, however, explained that the preparations for the exercise which has already gulped N100bn is a huge investment for the country, adding that subsequent exercises would be less expensive.

On fears expressed by the NPC commissioner in Ekiti State that the N100bn out of N200bn released to the commission may waste if the exercise does not hold as soon as possible, Kwarra said, “Yes, it’s true that we may have to incur additional expenses, if we stay much longer than necessary. But in this situation, we have given the President full brief including the implication if there’s further delay in the conduct of the census. So, we are very mindful and Mr. President, is very amenable to be able to entertain our requests.”

On if the commission will be making more requests since the time had elapsed, he said, “As for the expenditure of N200bn, no doubt, we have incurred that expenditure. Conducting a digital census is not cheap and mind you, this is like a foundational census.

“Subsequent censuses will not be this expensive because we’ve established a frame that we can only be updating. And going forward with improvement in the ICT, we will employ more methodologies that will save money for us.”

The NPC chairman further stated that the census will pay back more than its implementation cost.

“The completion of the census and the resources that we have acquired in the process of conducting the census will more than pay back that N200bn that you are talking about and the government will even have some surpluses in the coffers by the time we finish conducting the census,” he said.

Asked to clarify how the money is an investment since the commission is not a revenue making agency, Kwarra said, “It’s an investment because in the process of preparing for the census, we’re able to generate geospatial data that will bring in income to the government. It’s not just scan data. The geospatial data will rake in money for government.”

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