NPC New Announcement: Discover the latest developments surrounding the abrupt postponement of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Nigeria.
Uncover reactions to the massive N200 billion already spent and learn about the potential benefits of this delay according to the National Population Commission (NPC).
The 2023 Population and Housing Census was set to take a significant step forward in data collection and analysis for the Nigerian government.
However, the sudden postponement by the Federal Government has triggered waves of reactions from various quarters. Let’s dive into the complexity of this situation.
The Unforeseen Postponement
It was quite a shock when the 2023 Population and Housing Census, nearly on the brink of completion, was abruptly halted.
The cancellation has sparked concerns about the long-term effects of such a decision.
And, believe it or not, this isn’t the only issue stirring the pot.
Reactions to the N200 Billion Expenditure
Nasir Isa Kwarra, Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), announced that the Commission had already spent a hefty N200 billion on planning the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
This expenditure was part of the N800 billion sanctioned by the Commission, which also covered salaries from 2014, official training, and temporary staff for the census.
However, the abrupt cessation of the project has caused a flux of reactions and raised eyebrows on the massive sum already expended.
Is This Delay a Blessing in Disguise?
Kwarra, despite the unexpected turn of events, considers the census’s delay a disguised blessing.
The postponement, he believes, will enable the Commission to meet the commitments promised to business organizations and donor agencies.
Yet, the specifics of these fulfilled commitments remain undisclosed.
The ‘Green Census’ and the UNFPA’s Role
The UNFPA financed the training and equipment for what was expected to be a ‘Green Census’.
In the lead-up to the proposed census, the Commission conducted a trial census using advanced tools, unveiling certain issues that were subsequently addressed.
Ready to Proceed, Awaiting Approval
Despite the unforeseen halt, the Commission assures that it’s prepared to conduct the census once the new administration gives the green light.
Lagos lawyer, Kayode Oseni, however, has raised pertinent questions about the substantial N200 billion already spent, underlining the need to assess whether this expenditure has brought about any significant gains.
Emphasis on Digital Technology
Oseni highlights the need for the usage of digital technology in the census.
The anticipated ‘Green Census’ aims to employ digital maps, digital questionnaires, and cloud computing to produce reliable, precise, and well-disaggregated data.
Backing from the UN and UNFPA
The National Population Commission (NPC) has received substantial backing from the UN and UNFPA in their efforts to successfully conduct the population count in 2023.
Elizabeth Ulla Mueller, the UNFPA’s resident representative in Nigeria, voiced her optimism that the new President would support the census.
The UN’s Commitment to the Census
The United Nations in Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the census as part of the nation’s development initiatives.
A successful census requires close collaboration among all levels of government, funding partners, the private sector, academics, and the general public.
The UN pledges its continued support to make this a reality.
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