Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Eze Duruiheoma, has said the planned 2018 National Population and Housing Census will gulp N222 billion.
Duruiheoma said this yesterday in Akwanga, Nasarawa state, at the review workshop of Phases 1 and 2 of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) as well as training of the trainers for the 2018 census.
According to him, the fund would be used to conduct a scientific census that can stand the test of time amidst the dwindling nation’s resources.
He said the budget had been spread over four years to handle different components of the census exercise.
Duruiheoma said the money was for procurement of hand-held devices for the biometric based census; engagement of 1. 5 million field staff; training of field officers and other preparatory activities.
He said the commission was not unaware of the concerns raised in some quarters about the affordability of the census budget.
Duruiheoma, however, noted that the benefit of the census to the nation outweighs immediate financial considerations.
“There is no better time to conduct a census than in this period of economic recession. Coming out of a recession is definitely a complex and difficult task that can be made easier through demographic data as a compass for economic revival programme.
“Census will serve as a guide in identifying human elements that can be exploited for development process and formation of people responsive welfare Programme,” Duruiheoma said.
Continuing, he said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the EAD exercise is not the enumeration of persons living in the country and its outcome will not in any way determine the population of any community, local government or state,” he said.
The NPC chief further said the commission was not leaving any stone unturned in
a bid to ensuring that the EAD for the 2018 census was carried out meticulously, professionally and scientifically.
According to the NPC boss, the 2018 Census would be free of manipulation through the EAD as it would be biometric-based requiring the capture of finger prints and facial impression of persons during the exercise.
He said the phase 3 of the EAD would be concluded by February 2017, when 74 local government areas in the country would have been completely demarcated.
He urged Nigerians not to treat census as an extension of politics driven by narrow political consideration at the expense of collective national interest.
Chairman, Senate Committee on National Population and Identity, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, in a remark, assured the NPC of the Senate’s unflinching support to ensure the successful conduct of the 2018 census. (Premium Times)