The commencement of the 2023 national housing and population census, which was earlier slated for March 29, may likely be put forward due to the postponement of the governorship and state assembly elections.
Speaking at the presentation of 16 Post Enumeration Survey (PES) laptops put at a cost of N2 million each to the National Population Commission (NPC) by the United Nations Population Fund (NPF), in Abuja, the Chairman of Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, said the holding of the census is sacrosanct and the decision of when to hold it depends on President Muhammadu Buhari.
The state elections, which were earlier scheduled to hold on March 11, have now been scheduled for March 18 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Kwarra, who did not reveal the specific date the census may be moved to, said what he can assured is that it is going to hold in 2023 and that consultation is going to be done with President Muhammadu Buhari for a suitable date for the exercise.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria’s 2023 Census received a major boost with the donation of Post Enumeration Survey (PES) Laptops to the National Population Commission (NPC) on Friday by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Presenting the laptops to Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, the Country Representative, UNFPA Nigeria, Ms Ulla Mueller said Census-taking is a priority national development activity worldwide that should be conducted at least decennially, insisting that: “Despite a seven years’ delay, the Nigeria 2023 Population and Housing Census is billed to be transformative in its agenda and process, buoyed by the extensive use of digital technology to ensure transparency and credibility as well as quality results.”
Mueller said: “The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is delighted to identify with the 2023 Census agenda, continuously providing an enabling environment to ensure that it is embedded in the SDGs framework, ICPD goals, Agenda 2063 and the Nigerian national development vision – all of which emphasize the dire need for up-to-date data pertaining to individual circumstances and ensure that we Leave No One Behind in making key decisions.
“As the Lead global partner, UNFPA brings to the Nigeria 2023 Census high level technical expertise, experience, comparative advantages in operational intelligence and best practices collated from decades of work in more than 150 countries.”
She noted that with the availability of the PES laptops Nigeria’s 2023 Census is bound to meet the global best standard and present the country and indeed the world with a tool needed for development.
She said: “I’m aware that NPC has already put the right structures and work programme in place and are farther along in the process to ensure the successful implementation of the PES as well. Nigeria 2023 Census needs a good PES. It is to be understood that the PES, just like the Census, will be transformational – fully digital and employ methodological and technological innovations to guarantee quality and timely results, and conducted up to international standards.”
The Chairman of NPC, who expressed appreciation for the gift, said: “The presentation of these laptops today not only further affirms the importance of the PES to the entire Census process, but also reaffirms the UNFPA’s commitment towards the success of the 2023 Post Enumeration Survey (PES) and the 2023 Population and Housing Census (PHC) at large.”
He added that: “I am delighted to receive with thanks and appreciation the gift of these 16 (sixteen) Laptops and Accessories from the UNFPA under the very able leadership of the UNFPA Resident Representative to Nigeria, Ms. Ulla Elizabeth Mueller in support of the 2023 Post Enumeration Survey (PES). I wish to assure you that these laptops will be put to effective use towards executing the agenda of the 2023 PES.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja