The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, NPC, for Kwara State, Abdulrazaq Folorunsho Gidado, has assured Nigerians that the 2023 population and housing census project will definitely hold this year.
He described census as one of the critical and topical issues in Nigeria, promising that the census issue would soon become a thing of the past.
Gidado hinted that necessary moves have been taken by the board of the NPC to reach out to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to have his ears on the project.
He disclosed that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, and the Secretary to the Federation, Mr George Akume among other personal aides of the president, have been consulted to get an audience with the government for a new date from the president.
Gidado said the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, and Governor of Kwara State, Malam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has also been consulted on the need for a census exercise this year.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting with media executives on the 2023 census in Ilorin on Tuesday, the commissioner, said the huge funds sunk into the census project will not be allowed to go down the drain.
Gidado said the NPC fully supported the postponement of the exercise by the previous government of Muhammadu Buhari to allow the new government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu have an input in the exercise since it is the new government that will receive and accept the documents.
He said adequate preparations had already been put into the project, while training and retraining were ongoing despite the postponement.
The commissioner said technology deployed for the first digital census exercise in the country will make falsification of figures difficult and form part of efforts deployed to conduct accurate, verifiable and acceptable census for planning and development of the country.
He blamed the present problems of the country on the inability to have accurate population data for proper planning and development of the people, adding that “a robust database is very crucial for Nigeria among the comity of nations. ”
Over 18,000 ad-hoc staff have been recruited for the conduct of the census exercise in Kwara State.