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We’re hopeful Buhari will announce date for national census soon

The National Population Commission (NPC) has disclosed that it is hopeful that President Muhammadu Buhari will soon announce a date for the census.

This was disclosed on Thursday by the NPC chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra during his address on the commencement of the first pre-test exercise for the next population and housing census.

Recall that President Buhari had approved a total sum of N10 billion for the conduct of a national census in October 2020.

The commission also announced in December 2020 that an estimated 206 million people are living in Nigeria, an increase of eight million people in two years, against the 198 million in 2018.

The NPC chairman explained that the pre-test is aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires, data collection methods, manuals for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.

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He said the exercise will commence on June 6, 2021.

Kwarra also said the enumeration area demarcation activity, which involves dividing the whole land mass of the country into small units, had intensified with 630 LGAs successfully demarcated, adding that the remaining 144 LGAs will be covered within the next three months.

“We don’t have such a commitment (Buhari’s approval), but so far we have seen changes in the body language of the government,” Kwarra said.

“Before now, the funding of even the enumeration area demarcation was very lean. But now we have been given the marching orders to complete the entire local government areas in the country.

“I am quite sure that Mr President will make his proclamation at the appropriate time. The essence of the enumeration area demarcation, whether there is a census or not, places Nigeria on a high pedestal.

“There are so many things that we can do with what we already have but I am quite sure that at the end of the day, Mr President will make the proclamation on when to conduct the census.

“The pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the enumeration area demarcation exercise.

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“In essence, the pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census planning which provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census programme and instruments ahead of the main census activities to ensure the smooth operation and success of the census.”

Nigeria conducted the last population census in 2006 during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

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