The federal government has announced that the National Population and Housing Census will begin on 3rd May 2023.
Dr. Garba Abari, a member of the Publicity and Advocacy Committee on 2023 National Population and Housing Census, said the three-day exercise would start on May 3 and end on May 5 across the country.
Abari, who is the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), said the census would capture every person, household and structure for national planning and project execution purposes.
He further said that the change in the date was due to the postponement of this year’s governorship and Houses of Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“That change by INEC made it mandatory for us to also adjust the date for the conduct of the exercise. The census had to be put forward from the initial date of March 29 to April 2, now to May 3 to 5.
“There are two things that informed the shift in date. First, in the course of our planning by the National Population Commission, it was so factored that INEC would also tinker with its own electoral timetable.
“The governorship election, as you are aware, had to be shifted by one week. This had a telling effect on the date of commencement of the census.
“Just like election, the census is also a very long process: from the training, the sub-trainings, retraining leading up till the very day of the actual house listing and numbering.
“These will then be followed by the actual capture of the population.”
On how prepared they are for the exercise, Abari said;
“Most of the information that has gone out to the public about the census, like the awareness creation, sensitisation, enlightenment, advocacy around the census, has all been taking place.
“Perhaps, not on a scale that will make us feel comfortable to say every Nigerian is now census conscious, census aware, despite the very significant role that it has to play in our national life.
“But, clearly, the census is absolutely important because it is for development, planning, security, infrastructure development, educational, health and other demographic considerations all encapsulating in one.”