The National Population Commission has ruled out feasibility of the national population and housing census scheduled for 2016, blaming late preparation and inadequacy of other resources for the project.
Speaking at a recent media forum in Abuja, Chairman of the Commission, Eze Duru-Iheoma (SAN), stated that in order to ensure accurate result, the NPC should have prepared two years before 2016.
“We set out plan for 2016 census because going by the United Nation’s principles and guidelines for census, it should hold between five and ten years. The census ought to hold in 2016 going by the fact that the last census was held in 2006. Reality on ground is that it requires a minimum of two years to plan for a census even if you have all the money,” Duru-Iheoma said.
The NPC chairman who was represented by the Federal Commissioner for Population representing Enugu State, Dr. Festus Uzor, added that the commission required 1.1 million enumerators and over 50, 000 supervisors to give the nation accurate census.
Uzor noted, “If all the money required is given to us today, we will not be ready by 2016 to do a good job and we will rather not do a job than to do a partial job. The chairman had said that the way things are, 2016 is not realistic.”
He urged journalists to give support in terms of sensitisation and publicity towards achieving “incontrovertible and accurate national population and housing census rescheduled for 2017, saying that.
“Your job as media (practitioners) is to help us engage Nigerians, government and all stakeholders including non-governmental organisations to come together and understand that this census we want to do will be a vehicle for change. You can’t plan for people without knowing them,” Uzor said.
Earlier, the commission had declared its intention to adopt the use of bio-metric data technology for the proposed 2017 population and housing census, saying that the lessons learned from the previous exercises called for use of the technology to ensure data auditability and credibility.
It noted that the technology involved capturing of facial impression and fingerprints of respondents, added that the aim is to eliminate all forms of manipulation and also give the nation accurate, reliable and indisputable demographic data that will drive the country to sustainable development.