Donor Response Crucial as Government Works to Secure Sufficient Funding
The Federal Government of Nigeria is reaching out for basket donations to tackle the funding shortfall for the upcoming 2023 population and housing census. With donors yet to fulfill their pledges, the government’s appeal for basket donations has become vital in ensuring the successful completion of the census, according to recent reports.
In March of this year, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, disclosed the substantial budget requirement of N869 billion (approximately $1.88 billion) for the census. While the government has already committed N291.5 billion ($632 million), an additional N327.2 billion ($709.9 million) is urgently needed to bridge the funding gap. To mobilize resources, the Federal Government has called for basket donations from various sources.
Despite efforts to secure funding, potential donors have been slow to respond, creating significant challenges for the census. Meetings aimed at garnering financial support have yielded limited results thus far. This delay in donor responsiveness has raised concerns about the census’s timely and effective execution.
Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa-Kwarra, revealed that the government has only provided N224 billion (28 percent) out of the estimated N800 billion budget. The remaining funds are critical for covering essential expenses such as salaries and operational costs associated with conducting the census.
To address the funding shortfall, the Federal Government is urging private sector entities and individuals to contribute through monetary donations or by providing necessary materials required for the census. The success of these efforts is pivotal in ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the census results, which play a crucial role in policy-making, resource allocation, and national development planning.
The delay in securing sufficient funding poses a significant risk to the census’s outcome and the nation’s long-term progress. The Federal Government is resolute in overcoming the funding challenges and completing the census successfully, but the timely response from donors and the private sector is essential to achieving this goal.
The 2023 population and housing census holds immense importance for Nigeria’s socio-economic development and effective governance. It provides crucial data for evidence-based decision-making and facilitates the equitable distribution of resources. As the Federal Government seeks basket donations, the support and cooperation of donors and the private sector are paramount to ensure the census’s smooth implementation and accurate outcomes.
Source: The Punch
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