The National Population Commission (NPC) says it is ready to conduct the National Housing and Population Census, but waiting for go ahead from the government of President-elect Bola Tinubu.
Speaking during a press briefing on Sunday, NPC’s Director of Census, Dr Isiaka Yahaya, stated that contrary to reports that the commission’s ill-preparedness led to the postponement.
Yahaya said the commission had built strong foundation for the process.
“The preparation will continue as it is a process that has started. We have done everything that needs to be done and we are ready to move. If not for the rescheduling of the gubernatorial elections, the census would have held because we felt after the initial fate, the post elections healing would set in which would have allowed the smooth conduct of the census.”
Yahaya said the commission having conducted the first and second pre-test of the census materials as well as a trial census, is on the right track to bequeath Nigeria its first digital census.
“Technically, we are ready as we have the enumeration area information of all the 774 local governments in the state. We have used various methods to collect the data on all the houses on the country including places where there is insecurity and we are ready to go into those places to conduct the census.”
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the commission the necessary support to conduct the census that has eluded the country for 17 years.
Yahaya added that the country won’t start all over for census preparation when a date is fixed by the incoming administration.
He further refuted claims that there was no awareness of the census, saying that over 3 million Nigerians applied for the ad-hoc recruitment it called for out of which 855,600 were selected.
On his part, the Census Manager of the commission, Inuwa Jalingo, said the commission has leveraged on the United Nations’ standards for the digital census.
He said the commission has data on Nigeria’s geo-spatial information that other government agencies have been using to carry out their own activities.
He added that the commission was already in possession of over 400,000 tablets to be used for the census and they had all been sent to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) branches across the states.