The 2016 national population and housing census will cost N273 billion, Duru Iheoma, chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), has said.
He briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday on the activities of the commission, requesting that N10 billion be made available immediately.
Buhari, in his remarks after the briefing, charged government agencies to harmonise the collection and usage of biometric data in the country, instead of replicating their efforts in this regard.
Buhari wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data, when such data could easily be shared.
“It will be more cost effective if you work together. It helps even the credibility of the election process, as Nigerians of voting age can be identified easily,” the president said.
Government organisations that currently collect biometric data include the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission, Independent National Electoral Commission, among others.
Buhari added that all the agencies should work collaboratively, instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country.
Iheoma briefed the president on what would be required for the commission to conduct a national census next year, 10 years after the last exercise, as recommended by the United Nations.
He told the president that a biometric-based census was being proposed because it would eliminate multiple respondents, and ghost respondents, while making the outcome easy to audit.