New Telegraph

16 Years After Last Headcount: Nigeria gets April 2023 date for census

…as Council of State grants approval

…okays National Honours for 434 persons, clemency for 159 inmates

…deliberates on security challenges, rising cost of food

The Council of State has approved April 2023 for the national census. Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwarra, confirmed this to State House Correspondents after the Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa yesterday. According to him, the NPC will conduct a pilot census from June.

The meeting attended by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan as well as ex- Heads of State Gen. Yakubu Gowon and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar observed a minute silence in memory of the Head of Interim Government Earnest Shonekan, who passed away in January. It was the fourth Council of State meeting since Buhari came to power in 2015. Kwarra said the meeting considered the NPC’s request for a headcount as the last was conducted in 2006.

According to him, the census is expected to be conducted every 10 years. The NPC chief highlighted the importance of census for national planning, adding that the data currently being used by government is out dated. Kwarra said they would deploy high technology to ensure the success of the latest exercise. He said: “Through census, we generate the data that we use for policymaking, for planning, and for development by the three tiers of government, and the private sector, they all need this.”

He added: “Census data is very crucial, very important. Because, the data we’ve been using are just projections, estimations. And are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning.” Responding to questions of accuracy and acceptability of the exercise, the Kwarra said: “It’s going to be a digital census. We are adopting technology; we will give Nigerians digital, accurate and widely acceptable census.”

He also cautioned against migration ahead of the exercise, saying with the deployment of technology, citizens could be counted based on the states and councils wherever they reside. Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties, George Akume, who also briefed reporters after the meeting, said the Council approved that national honours be conferred on 434 Nigerians and friends of the country for their outstanding contributions to the development of society at the various levels.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the meeting also approved Buhari’s request to exercise his power for the prerogative of mercy to grant pardon and clemency for 159 prisoners considered to have undergone reformation to be reintegrated into society. Malami said 172 people were recommended for a pardon by a committee he chaired but three of them were dropped at the Council meeting. Jigawa State Governor Abubakar Badaru said the Council also deliberated on the security situation in the country, especially as it concerns food security.

He said the cost of food items was of interest to the Council and it was resolved that the security agencies be involved in providing adequate protection for farmers for them to produce more foods. The governor, however, maintained that rising food price was a global issue and not peculiar to Nigeria adding that the President recently announced the release of 40,000 metric tonnes of grains into the market in order to mitigate food shortages. Others physically present at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari. State governors in attendance were Hope Uzodinma of Imo State; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state among others.

Read Previous

Airlines’ group rescind decision on ticket sale in dollars

Read Next

Fayose vs Melaye: When friends fall apart

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *