April 2023 has been fixed tentatively for national census by Federal Government, Persecondnews reports.
As a prelude to the 2023 general census, a pilot census has been scheduled for June 2022.
Alhaji Nasir Isa-Kwarra, the Director-General of Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), told reporters after the Council of State meeting in Abuja presided over by President Muhammedu Buhari.
“It is very crucial because I have highlighted that the census is a very important exercise for the nation.
“Because through census we generate the data that we use for policy making, for planning, for development by the three tiers of government, and the private sector, they all need this,” said the Chairman, who recalled that the last census was held in August 2006.
Persecondnews reports that a minute silence was observed in memory of ex-Head of 1993 Interim Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan who passed on January 11, 2022.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, and Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar attended while ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida were absent.
In attendance at the meeting were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibarahim Gambari.
Governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Atiku Bagudu(Kebbi), Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), and others also attended while some participated virtually from their states.
On the conduct of the census, Isa-Kwarra said “high technology” would be deployed for the exercise.
“If you are a private sector, you are producing something, certainly, you need to know the population of an area if you want to create a market there.
“So census data is very crucial, very important. Because, the data we have been using are just projections, estimation and are sort of obsolete.
“We need the actual census data to use for our planning,” he said.
Special Duties Minister George Akume, also told the media briefing that the Council approved the conferment of National Honours Award on 434 Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the various field of endeavours.
On security, Jigawa Governor Abubakar Badaru, said President Buhari would meet with service chiefs on Tuesday, April 19 following deteriorating security situation in the country.
On his part, Malam Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, disclosed that the Council approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates across the country.
However, jailed former Managing Director of Bank PHB, Francis Atuche, who is serving 120 years in prison for stealing over N25 billion, was denied amnesty.
Thursday’s meeting of the Council of States is the fourth the President will preside over, the first being on October 21, 2015 and the second on September 7, 2016 and the third was held virtually in August 2020.
The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the Executive arm of government on policy matters.