March 7, 2024

Reps probe use of N200 billion on suspended 2023 census

Reps to probe directors’ retirement after 8yrs

By Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The House of Representatives on Thursday mandated its Committee on Population to investigate the use and management of 200 billion naira that was spent for the suspended 2023 population and housing census.

This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Hon Clement Akanni during plenary in Abuja. 

Moving the motion, Hon Akanni stated that the need to provide the nation with accurate and reliable demographic data for policy formulation and planning for sustainable development could not be overemphasised. 

He explained that the last census, which was conducted in 2006 by the National Population Commission, gave a population figure of 140 million. 

He further informed that the immediate past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari planned to conduct another census in 2022, but the programme was later postponed to 2023.

He said, “Earlier in March 2023, the former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said a total of N869 billion would be required for the exercise; this figure, according to the Minister, includes post-census activities. 

“The National Population Commission (NPC) says it has spent about N200 billion to prepare for the 2023 population and housing census. A census is a process of systematically collecting, compiling, and analysing demographic, social, and economic data about a population within a specific region. 

“Also note that censuses are conducted by governments to gather accurate and comprehensive information such as age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, housing, and other relevant demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of a country. 

He further explained that the collected data is used for a wide range of purposes, including policy-making, resource allocation, urban planning, public health, education, and more. 

“Disturbed that the exercise was, however, suspended indefinitely by former President Muhammadu Buhari a few days before leaving office. 

To this end, the House referred the motion to its committee on population census and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.