The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to immediately suspend the proposed 2021 population and housing census to be conducted by the National Population Commission (NPC), due to insecurity.
Rep. Shehu Beji (APC-Niger) while moving a motion of urgent public importance on the floor of the House on Wednesday, in Abuja, bemoaned the state of insecurity in the country.
He said the current insecurity had displaced numerous citizens, dwellers of various communities, to be captured in the exercise.
The lawmaker said that some displaced persons had even crossed over to neighbouring countries for refuge and would not be captured if the census was conducted.
He noted that with the overwhelming security challenges, expecting accuracy in any census conducted would be ‘like passing an elephant through the eye of a needle’.
“In the circumstance, a large number of Nigerians have fled their homes, while many others are being held captive by kidnappers.
“As such, conducting such census without them, means infringing on their constitutional right.
” Posting enumerators or ad hoc staff to volatile areas of the nation in the name of conducting census will be irrational, as it would be like giving them out to criminals,” he said.
According to him, conducting population and housing census in the current economic recession will only waste the hard earned resources of this country as the outcome will be inconsequential.
He said that the country’s presidential election is envisaged to commence and end within the first quarter of 2023, as such, the whole of 2022 would mostly be about campaigns, leaving no room for census activities.
The House, therefore, called on the Federal Government to suspend the upcoming census exercise until security of the country was stabilised, while mandating the relevant committee to inquire about the work plans of the NPC on the census.
It also resolved to invite the chairman of the NPC, to clarify as to the feasibility of conducting the census amid insecurity.