In a significant development, the Senate has just confirmed the scheduled date for the much-anticipated 2024 population and housing census. The announcement comes amid a screening process for the commissioner-nominees of the National Population Commission (NPC), with 17 out of the 19 nominees already vetted.
Senator Abdul Ningi, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population, emphasized the importance of this confirmation, stating that it marks a crucial step toward obtaining accurate and up-to-date population data for Nigeria. The last official census was conducted in 2006, and the subsequent attempts were delayed, raising concerns about the reliability of estimated figures used in recent years.
The 2024 census has been a topic of discussion and planning for several years, with the previous administration initially targeting 2022 as the census year. However, the program was later rescheduled to 2023 and subsequently suspended indefinitely by the outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari. The responsibility of announcing new dates for the census was then left to President Bola Tinubu.
Senator Ningi highlighted the necessity of political will and commitment from the government to ensure the success of the census. He expressed confidence in the readiness of the National Population Commission, revealing that 75% of the required logistics, including machine preparation and personnel training, have already been completed.
The chairman of the National Population Commission, Nasir Kwarra, acknowledged the progress in the screening process during this announcement. However, he noted the absence of two nominees due to recent appointments and electoral matters in Ondo and Ogun states.
With the confirmation of the 2024 census date, Nigeria aims to overcome an 11-year gap since the last official census. The Senate’s pledge of support for national planning underscores the importance of accurate population data in shaping effective policies and development strategies.
As the commissioner-nominees undergo screening, the focus remains on the significance of their roles in ensuring a successful and comprehensive census. The international community will be closely watching, and their support is contingent on the official declaration by President Tinubu. The anticipation is high, with hopes that this census will provide a solid foundation for informed decision-making and sustainable development in Nigeria.
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