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NPC: Why we rescheduled census

NPC: Why we rescheduled census
April 30
19:28 2023

The National Population Commission (NPC) has given reasons why the 2023 census was postponed.

On Saturday, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, announced that the census had been postponed and that the NPC would announce the new date.

The postponement of the census comes a few weeks after the commission assured Nigerians of its readiness to conduct the exercise.

WHY THE CENSUS WAS POSTPONED

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In an interview with TVC on Sunday, Isiaka Yahaya, NPC spokesperson, said the exercise was rescheduled so that the incoming administration would actively participate in it.

He countered rumours that the census was postponed owing to inadequate funding and insisted that the commission was fully prepapred.

“When we say postponement, it gives the impression that we’re going to start all over again, but to us at the commission, you know the process started long ago. So many steps have been taken and what remains to be done is to conclude the process. In a way, we consider it as rescheduling,” Yahaya said.

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“Some of these reasons that are been insinuated are not true. First, the census was postponed, not because the National Population Commission is not prepared. We are actually prepared to conduct the census and we have taken all the necessary steps to carry out the exercise. So, that is not the reason.

“Again, it has been insinuated that…it’s due to finance. That is also not true. The federal government of Nigeria which has the primary responsibility of funding the census has so far provided all the resources we needed for the census and the stages that need to be carried out, that is the training and the actual enumeration. We have no reason to believe that funds will not be available as you know funds are always provided when needed.”

Yahaya added that the census was postponed owing to the mood of the nation from the recently concluded elections.

He said the election rescheduling destablilised the NPC’s plans as the census would be most efficient in a stable environment.

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“First, the conduct of the census is not a maze. It’s not an end itself but rather a means. You know that a census is conducted to use for planning purpose and in a way, this should be a seamless exercise in which the administration that conducts the census should also be the administration that will use the census,” he said.

“Having looked at the need, we believe that the right thing is done. It is important to have the incoming administration get an idea of how the census will be conducted, to hone the process. If this is done, it will be easier for that administration to utilise the census for planning purposes. So, I believe that is one purpose why the census is being rescheduled.

“Another reason again has to do with the mood of the nation. When we planned to conduct the census after election, we believe that we’ll be able to have enough window between the period when the election will be concluded and also when the census will be carried out. Unfortunately, the rescheduling of the election did not allow for total evaporation of the mood.”

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