We’re Awaiting Presidential Approval Of Census – NPC

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Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Isa Kwarra has announced that the commission is set to conduct the National Population and Housing Census but is awaiting President Bola Tinubu’s approval for the official date.

Kwarra made this statement during a media conference marking World Population Day 2024, observed annually on July 11. This year’s theme is “Embracing the Power of Inclusive Data Towards a Resilient and Equitable Future for All.”

He highlighted the UN’s recommendation for censuses every ten years, noting that the 2020 census round is nearing its end.

The NPC boss emphasised the NPC’s readiness to proceed as soon as the president sets a date.

“We are just waiting on the president to give us the date. The commission is prepared to conduct a robust census to provide inclusive and verifiable data acceptable to all,” Kwarra said.

He added that the resources are in place to recruit additional personnel.

The NPC aims to complete the census by April 2025, though Kwarra indicated a preference for November, as previously planned.

Kwarra underscored the importance of the census for gathering accurate data to predict demographic shifts and inform policy decisions.

“We need to hold a census that will deploy modern technology to generate timely, reliable, and acceptable data required for addressing the different needs of the various population groups,” he stated.

UNFPA country representative Dr Gifty Addico, represented by deputy country representative Koessan Kuawu, said timely censuses are crucial for tracking progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and formulating policies to meet Nigeria’s diverse population needs.

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“In Nigeria, delays in generating timely, inclusive data have masked progress, leading to the use of obsolete data to assess our progress toward the SDGs. A timely census represents a critical opportunity,” Addico said.

She called for prioritising comprehensive population data systems, safe and inclusive data collection, and responsible technology use.

The chairman of the Association of the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), Dr Ejike Orji, warned that failing to conduct the census would result in significant losses for Nigeria, as more than 70 per cent of the resources needed have already been committed.

The statistician-general of the federation, Adeyemi Adeniran, stressed the importance of inclusive data for informed decision-making and policy development.

He stressed that comprehensive, inclusive data is essential to harness Nigeria’s diverse and vibrant demographic potential.

 

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