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Population commission proposes N33 billion for 2017 pre-census activities

The National Population Commission (NPC) earmarked about N33 billion for 2017 pre-census activities, says Deputy Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya.

With the National Assembly passing the budget last Thursday, the Commission said it is yet to have details on its allocations. While the Commission said it has covered 74 Local Government Areas with a balance of 700 left in 2017, well ahead of the census, coverage of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD’s) and other census activities in 2017 will require N33 billion.

Meanwhile, there are indications that the 2017 budget may be signed into law today or tomorrow, in spite of fears expressed in some quarters to that effect.
National Assembly Liaison Officer to President Buhari (House of Representatives), Kawu Abdulrahman Sumaila, disclosed this.

Early budget release would affect planning and execution of census activities, especially with the area demarcations and other pre-census schedules, ahead of the 2018 exercise.

The EAD is one of the core preparatory activities for the census exercise. Enumeration areas are also referred to as Census Clusters or Census Blocks where street address system is adopted as with a country like the United States of America.

Although allocations were received by the NPC in 2015 and 2016 for the 74 LGA’s and some other activities like renovation of its offices, the allocations enabled the Commission to embark on demarcation exercise of the 74 LGA’s.

When The Guardian asked Yahaya for specifics on allocation figures to the NPC for the periods mentioned, he said he was not in the position to give further details.

Apparently, the Public Affairs Director, his principal, who he insisted was better authorised to give details was not available at press time.Activities such as post enumeration survey and dissemination of census results are part of details covered in the N33b budget proposal. Yahaya explained that in order to ensure every part of the country is covered, satellite imagery and mapping of the whole country is derived by the collaborative provisions of the Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation.

While the nation’s official surveyor delivers on its part for the effective work of the commission, the NPC actually pays the Surveyor General’s office for the services it provides. The satellite imagery and mapping, according to Yahaya, helps the demarcation process in the commission’s pre-census activities.

With the last census conducted in 2006, the 2018 census is crucial to the nation’s economy as census also provides the baseline for demographic data that are crucial for sectoral planning.

Yahaya believes that the population of Nigeria has undergone tremendous transformation not only in terms of size but also composition, distribution and characteristics and there is no way a census conducted 10 years ago will be adequate to confront the realities of coming years.

He insists that the 2018 census must be the desirable compass that will guide Nigeria out of the current economic recession and usher a new era of sustainable economic growth and development and improve the living standard of the citizenry.

Source: Oludare Richards - The Guardian NG