The Acting Director General of the National Population Commission (NPC), Ms. Ugoeze Mbagou, has said the N187 billion earmarked for the Population and Housing Census slated for April 2023 is inadequate.

Mbagou said this at a roundtable meeting, with the theme: The 2023 Population and Housing Census: Issues, Challenges and Way Forward, organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) yesterday in Abuja.

The NPC boss said the census was going to be a digital exercise, adding that the money required far exceeded the N187 billion.

“What we need is far above that (N187 billion). That is why we might need supplementary budget.

“What delayed the census this year was getting government’s approval for us to do it. The President, graciously, with the State Council, said we can do population and housing census.

“We requested for about 187 billion, which is not adequate, but with the go-ahead of the Federal Government, we are asking for a supplementary budget.

“And since there is an approval from them and they appreciate the importance of a census, I do not think funding will be a problem, with the help of United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) and other donor agencies.

“We are relying on 50 per cent from us and 50 per cent from development partners,” she said.

The acting director general also said the commission would, on Monday, June 27, begin a trial census.

“The trial census is based on geopolitical zones: six states of the federation will have full 100 per cent census coverage while the rest of the states will have one local government area.

“The trial census is actually the training. We are going to train enumerators before we go into proper enumeration which is when enumerators have to go to households,” Mbagou said.

The acting director general stressed that arrangements had been made to ensure the security of the enumerators at the different venues of the training.

She said the commission had successfully demarcated 772 local government areas out of the 774 in the country.

NILDS Director General Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved April 2023 for conduct of the census across the country.

Sulaiman, who stressed that the step was in the right direction, said there were several issues that needed to be critically assessed and considered to ensure a successful, acceptable and accurate census.


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