By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria has allocated over N190 billion for the conduct of the long overdue housing and population census in 2022.
Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity and Population Matters, Senator Sahabi Yaú (APC/ Zamfara North), disclosed this yesterday at the National Assembly, Abuja.
According to him, “The President is ready to conduct the National Census by 2022 and you know what census means you know it is capital intensive.
“So much has been allocated, if it is not sufficient most likely the President will come up with a supplementary budget to be able to conduct the census properly to be accepted by all Nigerians.
“Over N190b allocated for the exercise. We are waiting for the President to proclaim when the activities will commence.”
On the time lag of about 16 years after the 2006 census, he said it does not matter.
“Even if it is 20 years you are going to get the same figures of the population we have whether 30 or 50years the same figure that we are supposed to have is what we are going to get. The time lag does not make any difference.”
On what his committee is doing to ensure that census does not take more than a decade before it is conducted he said there is a law to that effect adding that the exigencies of government may be responsible for the time lag.
“The presidency has the prerogative to know the time that we can have a peaceful census in the country.”
He also allayed fears that it might be risky to hold the census in a pre-election year. The senator noted: “They must have done their calculations and think that it is the best time. We are Nigerians, and we want to know our population and, therefore, we must try to see how we can conduct a peaceful census; and that is what we intend to do.”