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FG: Census will commence May 3

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The National Orientation Agency (NOA) says the population and housing census will commence on May 3.

In an interview with NAN, Garba Abari, NOA director-general, said the exercise would commence on May 3 and end on May 5.

In April 2022, the federal government announced that it would conduct the national census after the general election.

Abari said the exercise would capture every person, household and structure for national planning and project execution purposes.

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He said the change in the date was due to the postponement of the gubernatorial and state house of assembly elections.

He described the census and the 2023 elections as major national events with significant importance.

“That change by INEC made it mandatory for us to also adjust the date for the conduct of the exercise,” NAN quoted Abari as saying.

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“The census had to be put forward from the initial date of March 29 to April 2nd, now to May 3rd to 5th.

“There are two things that informed the shift in date. First, in the course of our planning by the National Population Commission, it was so factored that INEC will also tinker with its own electoral timetable.

“The gubernatorial election, as you are aware, had to be shifted by one week. This had a telling effect on the date of commencement of the census.

“Just like election, the census is also a very long process, from the training, the sub-trainings, retraining leading uptill the very day of the actual house listing and numbering.

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“These will then be followed by the actual capture of the population.”

On the level of preparedness, the NOA boss assured that the commission is ready to embark on the exercise.

“Most of the information that have gone out to the public about the census like the awareness creation, sensitisation, enlightenment, advocacy around the census have all been taking place,” he said.

“Perhaps, not on a scale that will make us feel comfortable to say every Nigerian is now census conscious, census aware, in spite of the very significant role that it has to play in our national life.

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“But, clearly, the census is absolutely important because it is for development, planning, security, infrastructure development, educational, health and other demographic considerations all encapsulating in one.’’

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