NPC waiting for presidential proclamation
The Federal Government has earmarked about N190 billion for the National Population Commission (NPC) to conduct the long overdue housing and population census in 2022. Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity and Population Matters, Senator Sahabi Yaú (APC/ Zamfara North), disclosed this yesterday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Yau who spoke to journalists shortly after presenting the budget report of his committee to the Senate Committee on Appropriation said that while the budgetary provision had been made, the actual period the census will take place was still uncertain. According to him, the NPC would have to wait for a presidential proclamation for the processes leading to the head-count to commence.
“The President is ready to conduct the National Census by 2022, and you know what census means: you know it is capital intensive. Over N190 billion allocated for the exercise. We are waiting for the President to proclaim before one could say when the census will actually take place. “So much has been allocated, but if it is not sufficient; most likely the President will come up with a supplementary budget to be able to conduct the census properly for it to be accepted by all Nigerians,” he said. He said that though between 2006 when the last census held and now is about 15 years, the long interval, which is beyond the recommended 10 years would not matter.
“Even if it is 20 years, you are going to get the same figures of the population we have; whether, 30 or 50 years, the same figure that we supposed to have is what we are going to get. The time lag does not make any difference,” he averred. On what his committee is doing to ensure that Nigeria maintains the stipulated 10 years’ interval between one census and the other, Yau said that it was the exigencies of governance that must have been responsible for the time lag, adding that the Presidency has the prerogative to determine the right time to conduct a peaceful census in the country.
He also allayed fears that it might be risky to hold the census in a pre-election year. The senator noted: “They must have done their calculations and think that it is the best time. We are Nigerians, and we want to know our population and, therefore, we must try to see how we can conduct a peaceful census; and that is what we intend to do.”