By Bola Kougbe
Chairman, National Population Commission, NPC, Eze Duruiheoma, has stated that N222 billion is needed to conduct the 2018 National Population and Housing census.
Duruiheoma revealed the plan, Tuesday, at Akwanga, during the review workshop of Phases 1 and 2 of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) as well as training of the trainers for the 2018 census.
He said the fund would be used to conduct a scientific census that could stand the test of time despite the dwindling resources of the country.
The NPC boss explained that the money is for procurement of hand-held devices for the biometric based census; engagement of 1. 5 million field staff; training of field officers and other preparatory activities. He added that the budget has been spread over four years to handle different components of the census exercise.
Duruiheoma, also stated that the best time to conduct a census is the period of economic recession. He emphasized that “Coming out of a recession is definitely a complex and difficult task that can be made easier through demographic data as a compass for economic revival Programme”.
“Census will serve as a guide in identifying human elements that can be exploited for development process and formation of people responsive welfare Programme”, he said.
The chairman said the commission was not leaving any stone unturned in order to ensure that the EAD for the 2018 census was carried out meticulously, professionally and scientifically.
He maintained that the EAD was the bedrock of the census and formed the basis for the planning and execution of the census project. He added that the 2018 census would be free of manipulation through the EAD as it would be biometric based requiring the capture of finger prints and facial impression of persons during the exercise.
Also, he urged Nigerians not to treat census as an extension of politics driven by narrow political consideration at the expense of collective national interest.