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Nigeria requires N207b for digital census, NPC says

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Management of the National Population Commission, NPC, has revealed that Nigeria requires N207 billion to conduct a comprehensive digital population census in 2022 if approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The chairman of the Census Committee and federal commissioner representing Rivers State in the NPC, Ipalibo Harry, said the census is scheduled to begin in May next year.

“The estimated budget approved by the National Assembly is N178 billion, and that is a far cry from what it ought to be, but we hope that a supplementary budget will come afterwards, but I don’t have the idea of what the cost implications would be, you can take it from me that the total budget won’t be less than N207 billion,” Mr Harry told Leadership in a recent interview.

“They need to find out the budget allocated for the last census 16 years ago. We also need to compare the cost of a census in neighbouring countries. I tell you the outcome will be worth more than the budget.”

The National Assembly had approved N178 billion for the proposed census in the 2022 national budget.

However, the committee chairman objected to the approved budget, stating that it was far than sufficient for this robust process.

“It is worthy to note that Nigeria is a highly populous country at a projected 207 million and so the human resources that will be polled towards the success of this exercise would also be huge as this will involve more than 1,000 enumeration areas and this will help in extending our reach so we can know what might affect the next census,” Mr Harry added.

“As it is now, not less than 1.5 million ad-hoc personnel will be involved in the exercise, part of that will be from the outcome of the second pretest.”

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