ABUJA- The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clement Agba has called for the shifting of the planned March 2023 Population and Housing Census to May.
Agba, made the call at the High Level Partners’ Engagement on the 2023 population and housing census in Abuja on Monday.
He said the shift was to enable the ministry to train more personnel and procure digital equipment required for the census.
The National Population Commission (NPC) had earlier announced that the exercise would be carried out this month.
Agba however the assurance that the census would be digitally conducted, green, transformative and meet international standards.
The minister explained that a total of N889 billion would be required to conduct the census.
According to him, so far, government has committed N291.5 billion to the census which translated to 46 per cent of total funding.
Agba said that there would be training of 885,000 persons for building numbering and household listing of all buildings in the country for seven days at an average of N12,410 buildings per day.
The minister however said that a basket fund to be managed by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) would be established for redemption of pledges.
The Founder, Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr Tony Elumelu, expressed the commitment of the foundation to the success of the exercise.
Elumelu emphasised the imperatives of census which according to him was critical for national planning.
He said that the census was very important for Nigeria’s economic development and called for accurate and accessible data.
The Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aminu Dangote, pledged commitment to the exercise.
Dangote, represented by Mr Moshood Mohammed, said that a comprehensive and accurate population data was important for national development.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Mathias Schmale described census as a capital intensive project and called for mobilisation of fund for its success.
Schmale restated the commitment of the UN to continue to support Nigeria especially in making the 2023 census a success.
Ms Ulla Mueller, Country Representative, UN Population Fund (UNFPA) assured of continuous support and advice.
Mueller also identified population management through making right choices as key to national development.
She expressed the need for inclusivity in the census by giving women prior attention.
The Executive Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, commended the partners, especially the UNFPA for their commitment to the success of the exercise.
Kwarra expressed the determination of the commission to deliver a credible and digital census that would ensure accurate data for national development.
The executive chairman assured of prudent and judicious use of the money to be raised for the census.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the high level partners engagement is aimed at interfacing with partners and geared towards mobilising funds for a credible Census. (NAN)