2023 CENSUS: NPC seeks Media Executives support

To ensure the successful conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, the National Population Commission has met with the Media Executives to brief them on the status of preparations for the 2023 Census and the next steps forward in light of the postponement of the census.


The breakfast meeting with media executives in preparation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census was held in Abuja.


Hon.Nasir Isa Kwarra, Chairman of the National Population Commission(NPC) while briefing the media executives, revealed that about N224 billion has been expended so far in the preparation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.


It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently approved the postponement of the 2023 Census earlier scheduled for May 3rd to 7th, 2023.


Speaking on the amount already expended in the preparations for the census, he said although N800 billion was budgeted for the census, the Federal Government has only released N224 billion for the exercise.


He said:

“What we have been able to expend is about N200 billion.

“So, the N800 billion is a budget and that budget covers the cost of conducting census in Nigeria.


“It is not that the government has given us N800 billion but it is a budget and we believe that we may spend up to that or we may not spend up to that.


“To be straightforward, the Federal Government has actually provided N224 billion which we have utilised for the census so far.”


Kwarra commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to postpone the census, saying that it was the right thing to do as the nation is about to transition to another administration.


“The Commission welcomes the decision of the Federal Government to postpone the conduct of the census in order to give the incoming administration the opportunity to have input into the census process.


“The postponement has also given the Commission the opportunity to further perfect its processes and systems for the conduct of the first-ever digital census.”

The NPC boss who seized the opportunity to speak extensively on the preparations made so far by the Commission, assured that measures have been put in place to guarantee a credible, acceptable and quality Population and Housing Census in the near future.


According to him, “The objective of the breakfast meeting is therefore to update the media executives on the status of preparations for the 2023 Census and the next steps forward in the light of the postponement of the census.


“As you are aware, the Commission has carried out all the preparatory activities towards the census such as the Enumeration Area Demarcation, the conduct of pre-tests and trial census, recruitment and training of census field staff, procurement and configuration of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), the establishment of ICT infrastructures across the country and logistics support and advocacy and publicity activities.


“Conscious of the enormous human and material resources that have been expended in the implementation of these preparatory activities, the most important task before the Commission is to sustain and reinforce the relevance of these activities to the successful conduct of the 2023 Census.


“This will ensure that the nation does not have to start afresh the conduct of the census thereby saving costs.


“The processes and systems put in place for the census are currently being reviewed to determine what needs to be done to ensure that the preparations do not become obsolete.


“The focus of the Commission is to ensure that all the resources expended so far are safeguarded and that the nation does not need to start all over when the census is to be conducted.


“For us at the Commission, this is not a difficult task. In coming up with the plan for the 2023 Census, the Commission was not only looking at the immediate needs of delivering the next census but concerned more with laying a solid foundation for future censuses.


“This mindset informed the scope and quality of arrangements put in place.”


He further pointed out that the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), which involved the division of the country into small land areas was meticulously undertaken in such a way that only an update will be required for future censuses.


Kwarra added that using satellite imageries, the Enumeration Areas were all geo -referenced with the coordinates of all the buildings established, noting that the products of the EAD are currently being used by other government agencies.


Commenting on the recruitment of the ad-hoc workers, he said, the process had been completed through a rigorous online process in which about one million workers have been screened and found worthy of the assignment.


He affirmed that the database of all the recruited personnel including their contact details are available for the next census.


He therefore, assured Nigerians that the census would be conducted in a serene and secure environment despite security threats from various parts of the country.


In his remarks, Federal Commissioner representing Oyo State in the NPC, Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji, contended that the 2023 Census was not cancelled but only postponed, adding that preparations would continue in top gear.


Oyetunji, who is also Chairman of the Public Affairs Committee, said, “The census process continues. Even though it has been postponed and rescheduled, we want to make a statement that it has not been cancelled, the process is continuing.


“When President Muhammadu Buhari announced the postponement, he also charged us to continue activities while allowing the incoming government to become part of the process and own the process.


“We want to assure Nigerians that the preparations that have been made and money spent is secure, they are not wasted, and we will continue to work towards the success of the exercise.”




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