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2024 census to hold as planned – Senate

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The Senate has affirmed that the eagerly anticipated population and housing census scheduled for November this year will proceed as planned. 

During the screening of 17 out of the 19 commissioner-nominees for the National Population Commission in Abuja yesterday, Senator Abdul Ningi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population, emphasized the commitment to the census timeline.

Senator Ningi highlighted the re-nomination of most nominees, underscoring the careful consideration of their credentials. This census becomes increasingly crucial as Nigeria has relied on estimated figures since the last census conducted in 2006, which reported a population of 140 million.

“We are almost 11 years without taking the United Nations resolution on population which comes almost every seven years.

“I am sure with the political will, this is possible, it’s doable, the commission is ready, the personnel are ready. All we need do is the announcement by the President that the population census is coming on a date and once he says it, the international observers will now come in with their support.

“Without the President’s declaration, no one will send a kobo to Nigeria to support population census. Seventy-five per cent of the logistics in terms of machines, in terms of training of the personnel have been completed.

“All we need to do is for the President to have the political will, and commitment to say the census is taking place and we cannot postpone it,” he said.

He further stressed the importance of political will in executing the census, noting Nigeria’s lapse of 11 years without conducting the census required by United Nations resolutions. 

He emphasized the readiness of the NPC and the completion of 75% of logistical preparations, awaiting the President’s official announcement to mobilize international support.

He reiterated that the census is fundamental for national development, as it forms the basis for effective planning and execution of policies. Despite challenges, Senator Ningi emphasized the non-competitive nature of census-taking, urging nominees to prioritize national interest over ethnic considerations.

The Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Kwarra, expressed gratitude for the long-awaited screening process. Out of the 19 nominees, two were absent due to official appointments and electoral commitments.

In her remarks, Sa’adatu Dogon Bauchi, the nominee for Kaduna State, commended President Tinubu for the opportunity given to women to serve as commissioners. She pledged to contribute to a successful census, highlighting the dedication of female nominees.

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