Revealed: Why 2018 census may no longer hold

The National Population Commission has cried out to Nigerians that the commission may not be able to conduct the 2018 census.

The commission cited two reasons as why the census may not hold.

The Chairman of the commission, Eze Duruiheoma said President Buhari is yet to issue directives for the 2018 census.

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He also cited lack of funds, non-completion of NPC’s permanent headquarters, and lack of legislation for periodic conduct of census, as setbacks for the preparation.

The NPC’s proposed funding requirements for the exercise amount to N222 billion.

Breakdown of how the monies would be spent includes: pre-census activities, N94 billion; census proper, N120 billion; and post-census activities N8 billion.

The agency said the Federal Government must begin now to release the funds in installments to enable it to commence preparation.

Mr. Eze also stated that out of the N4.411 billion appropriated for the agency for capital expenditure in the 2006 Appropriation Act, only N2.17 billion had been released till date.

It was learnt that the cost of constructing NPC’s permanent headquarters (which began in 2006) within was N2.3 billion.

But due to delays in release of funds, the variation cost for completing it will now gulp an additional N1.7 billion.

Mr. Eze solicited the assistance of the Senate to ensure the required legislations for the next census are passed.

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He said the commission would specifically require the support of the Senate in ensuring that periodic conduct of population census is included in the 1999 Constitution.

A Senate Committee Chairman, Suleiman Hunkuyi, urged the commission to commercialize some of its data, arguing that issuance of birth certificates should not be free.

This, however, is in contravention of the NPC Act, which made issuance of birth certificates to individuals free.