The National Population Commission (NPC) will need about N100 billion to conduct the 2016 national population census, its Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), said yesterday.
Duruiheoma, who addressed reporters on the imperative of the census, noted that delaying its conduct might lead to a crisis.
The NPC chief said it might also cause financial wastage.
President Goodluck Jonathan, he said, had given the commission an order to ensure the success of the national headcount.
NPC officials, Duruiheoma emphasised, were following the presidential order with their earnest preparations for the census.
He said the commission was convinced that conducting an accurate and reliable census in 2016 was feasible, adding that its result would aid the sustenance of the achievements recorded in the last few years.
Duruiheoma said: “The conduct of a national population census, in 2016, will consolidate the impressive legacies the nation laid through the historic conduct of the 2006 population and housing census. Periodicity is one of the basic attributes of a good census. Censuses are conducted over a period of either five or 10 years.
He said: “Nigerian should not be an exception to this international best practice. It is interesting to note that some of these countries, which have conducted censuses regularly, including Rwanda, have also experienced internal crises like we have in Nigeria, while virtually all these countries have smaller population and are less endowed with resources like Nigeria.
“You will agree with me that we are in changing times and we have to be realistic on certain issues. We are not unwilling to name a cost. We are still working it out. But I can tell you: we are looking at a cost of about N100 billion. This is realistic for the 2016 census exercise. The fund will be used in preparation for the census. What we intend to do will not only be done on the ground but also in the air. I want to assure Nigerians that the cost of the next census will not be too much of a burden on public finances as the process will be supported by the development partners like the previous census.
“Further delay in the conduct of the census beyond 2016 will lead to the attrition of the structures, making it difficult to deploy such for later censuses. In particular, the human resources base for the census from the 1991 and 2006 census would have been further depleted, if the census is conducted beyond 2016.
“This, therefore, means that the nation has to start building new structures whenever it decides to conduct a census at later date. To avoid wastage Nigeria must conduct the 2016 census.”
Source: The Nation


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