President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a sum of N10 billion for the conduct of a national census.
The National Population Commission (NPC) has been undertaking the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in phases ahead of the conduct of a census.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Eyitayo Oyetunji, NPC acting chairman, said by the approval, the president has demonstrated interest in investing in the population, especially the youth.
The press conference marked the commencement of the 10th phase of the EAD exercise.
Oyetunji said the commission is prepared to conclude the demarcation successfully and conduct the census.
“As you may be aware, a total of 228 LGAs were successfully demarcated across the 36 states and FCT in the previous nine phases,” the acting chairman said.
“I am, however, pleased to announce, that His Excellency, Mr President, has reaffirmed his commitment towards the successful completion of the EAD and indeed towards the conduct of the next census by approving the release of the total sum of N10 billion for the continuation of the EAD in the remaining 546 LGAs of the country.
“The president has graciously followed this up by a further approval of an additional N45 billion to be included in the 2021 budget for the completion of the exercise as part of preparations for the next census.
“No doubt, this milestone development underscores the president’s understanding of the role of data, especially demographic data as the bedrock for informed development planning and allocation of resources, facilities and services.
“We in the National Population Commission perceive this highly commendable action of His Excellency, Mr President, as further indication of his dogged resolve to take this country into a post-COVID-19 era that will emerge from systematic planning and optimal utilisation of available resources, especially the human capital with which the country is abundantly blessed.
“There is no gainsaying that no nation can develop beyond the capacity of its population. For us at the commission, we wish to reiterate our preparedness and unwavering commitment to work towards the successful conclusion of the EAD and the conduct of the next census and to thereby provide accurate, reliable and up-to-date demographic data for national planning and development.
“I am confident that the commission will deliver a very successful EAD and also to conduct a census that will be accurate, reliable and acceptable.”
Nigeria had its last census in 2006.