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As reported by Persecondnews, 2023 Population Census fixed for May has been postponed 

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The 2023 Population and Housing Census scheduled to hold from May 3 to May 7 has been postponed indefinitely, the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has announced.
The Federal Government said the incoming administration which will be inaugurated on May 29 will be allowed to determine a new date.
Persecondnews had on April 23, 2023 reported exclusively that the population and housing census scheduled for between May 3 and May 5 might be postponed due to logistic hitches as funds required for the execution of the exercise has not been sourced by the Federal Government.

A whopping $1.8 billion (N869 billion) is required by the government for the census to be conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC) out of which about N200b has been allegedly released, Per Second News had reported

The exercise, which was earlier scheduled for March 25, was shifted to April 2 as a result of the presidential, governorship and parliamentary elections.

Persecondnews gathered that the government is facing serious challenges in sourcing funds for the humongous budget for the exercise with less than 32 days to the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

On payment of enumerators and allowances of officials alone, it was discovered about N8 billion would be expended on the sub-head with officials being earmarked between N20, 000 and N65, 000 daily allowances throughout the three-day enumeration exercise.

Several hundreds of millions of Naira was also allocated for transportation and other logistics.

It was learnt that apart from finance, security, ethnic profiling, violence and political crises stoked by the February 25 and March 11 national elections are potential threats to the May 3 census.

Nigerians had criticized the government’s decision to commit $1.8 billion to the census and called for its postponement till after national reconciliation by the incoming administration.

Economic analysts, well-meaning Nigerians and stakeholders said the amount budgeted for the exercise can build 19, 000 classrooms and 30,000 Primary Health Centres (PHC) and execute other projects across the country.

The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday, April 28, 2023.

Mohammed said on Saturday morning:“In arriving at the decision to postpone the census,” the statement says, “the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last census, to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people.”

Mohammed quoted Buhari as saying that appreciable progress had been made in the preparation for and implementation of the now postponed census, adding that the President commended the methodology being put in place by the NPC to conduct accurate and reliable census.

“The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, conduct of first and second pre-tests, the recruitment and training of ad hoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

“He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses.

“The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.”

The meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.

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