NPC Announcement: National Population Commission, N200b vote and a disastrous census in 2023 Housing Censuses ought to be conducted on

NPC Announcement: National Population Commission, N200b vote and a disastrous census in 2023 Housing Censuses ought to be conducted on

The 2023 Population and Housing Census was nearly complete when the Federal Government abruptly announced that it had been postponed. In this analysis, FIDELIS EBU looks at the long-term effects of the cancellation.

Reactions to the statement made by Nasir Isa Kwarra, Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), that the Commission had spent N200 billion on planning the 2023 Population and Housing Census before the project was called off have continued to flow in.

Kwarra said that of the N800 billion authorized by the Commission, N200 billion had already been cleared for expenditure.

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According to him, the N800 billion covered salary from 2014, official training, and temporary workers for the census.

Kwarra believes that the census’s move is actually a blessing in disguise because it will allow the Commission to fulfill pledges made by business organizations and donor agencies, though he did not specify how much has been fulfilled thus far.

The training and equipment purchases for the Green Census were financed by UNFPA. Prior to the postponement, the Commission had also carried out a trial census with the aid of the sophisticated tools used in the exercise; this exercise had revealed to the Commission some problems that have since been fixed, and the materials used are still in the Commission’s various offices across the nation.

The Commission declared that it was ready to conduct the census whenever the new administration gave its approval.

“Should the incoming administration decide to continue with the Population and Housing Census this year following its inauguration, we are prepared. We have taken all the necessary steps to conduct a credible, open, and accurate census. “Let’s go,” Kwarra declared.

In response, a lawyer from Lagos named Kayode Oseni said the N200 billion already spent was enormous and that it was now required to determine whether the expenditure resulted in a gain or loss.

He emphasized the importance of utilizing digital technology to produce results that are believable, trustworthy, and acceptable as well as to deliver precise and well-disaggregated data for strategic planning and policymaking.

With the use of digital maps, digital questionnaires, and cloud computing, the 2023 Population and Housing Census is anticipated to be a “Green Census,” ensuring compliance with the global climate change campaign’s goal of reducing emissions by 30% unconditionally and an additional 15% conditionally by 2030.

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Nigeria’s most recent national census took place in 2006. According to UN guidelines, population and housing censuses should be carried out every ten years. For the purpose of properly aligning public policy and investment decisions, the period enables the government to accurately capture changes in the population, age-structure, and migration of the population.

The NPC has received the UN’s backing in its efforts to conduct a successful population count in 2023.

Ms. Elizabeth Ulla Mueller, the UNFPA’s resident representative in Nigeria, stated that the organization has maintained a tight working connection with NPC.

“I’m hopeful that the new President will support the census,” she remarked. The UNFPA will assist the new administration and the census in completing an accurate and transparent count.

“UNFPA is working with NPC to ensure the 2023 Census upholds international principles and standard since the census planning began 2014 with a draft Census Document,” Mueller said at a breakfast gathering to raise money to support the NPC for the 2023 Population and Housing Census. We have already spent $2,970,907.95 toward it, and we intend to keep doing so for the duration of its useful life.

Additionally, UNFPA has hired Dr. Collins Opiyo as its Chief Technical Advisor and deployed senior staff to facilitate every step of the census process, including the creation of an M&E framework, communication, and framework for identifying and mapping special populations like migrant farmers, nomads, internally displaced people, and refugees, leaving no one behind.

She claims that the highest degree of the government’s commitment to a successful 2023 Census has given UNFPA hope. The allocation of N422 billion for the census in the 2022 annual budget, the president’s approval of the census’s conduct in April 2023, and the president’s participation in the National Stakeholders Summit on the 2023 Census—during which the president personally unveiled the Census Strategic Document—all serve as eloquent examples of this commitment.

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The implementation of transformative processes in the direction of a successful census taking in 2023 has been made possible by the commitment of the government, led by NPC, and the support of UNFPA as the leading UN agency providing technical support and guidance for population and housing censuses and other demographic exercises.

According to the UN Resident Representative, cooperation is essential for a government of Nigeria census effort of this magnitude.

According to him, it takes close collaboration and coordination between all levels of government, funders, the private sector, academics, and the general public to conduct a legitimate census in a nation as big and diverse as Nigeria. He continued by saying that it is challenging for nations to conduct censuses on their own since they require a lot of resources.

“The United Nations System is committed to collaborating closely with government and donor partners for a reliable population and housing census in 2023. I applaud Nigeria and UNFPA’s collaboration for taking the bold step of organizing the partners’ conference for the 2023 census and for the official launch of the Census Development Partners Forum, a project that will support an open census that meets international standards.

“I kindly request all partners to commit to the collaboration and cooperation by offering support, whether it be in the form of technical, monetary, or in-kind assistance.
This would support Nigeria’s efforts to carry out a much-needed census, he continued, one that will make data available for evidence-based programming and policymaking, enhance understanding of population dynamics, and guide socioeconomic development activities in the nation.

Information that will be valuable for the international community, current and future governments, and for monitoring the SDGs.

The implementation of this revolutionary census will continue to be supported by the United Nations in Nigeria as part of the nation’s development initiatives.

Nasir Isa Kwarra, National Population Commission, NPC,

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