Why Census 2023 Was Postponed

The National Population Commission on Friday, why the 2023 Population and Housing Census was postponed.

The Commission explained that contrary to insinuations that it was rescheduled due to insufficient funds, the NPC postponed the census exercise to save Nigeria from a national crisis.

The  Federal Commissioner in Plateau State, Mrs Cecilia Dapoet made this disclosure on Friday during a meeting with stakeholders  in Jos, the state capital.

The Commissioner said, “The Census exercise was earlier scheduled for May 3-7, 2023, but was postponed, giving rise to many insinuations in the public space regarding the reason for the postponement and these even though are mere speculations had been given much media attention.

“The Commission is compelled to take necessary steps to correct the impression that the 2023 Population and Housing Census is postponed because of lack of funds.

“The real reason is not money, but government’s transition programme and post-election mood in the country. We all saw the cloud of uncertainty that hung above the nation after the elections and were careful not to fall into some pitfalls and plunge the country into more trouble. We cannot take things for granted, and decided to postpone the exercise,” she informed.

The Commissioner  expressed optimism that the postponement of the national census would afford the new administration, led by President Bola Tinubu to prepare adequately for the exercise.

Dapoet who however assured that the NPC would conduct  the first digital census in Nigeria whenever a new date is fixed added, “Presently, we have purchased the handheld devices to be used to capture data and are safely stored at the Central Bank in Jos. This also means the software is ready in hand.

“Presently, we are also getting our new leaders acquainted with the methodology and processes adopted for the current Census exercise.

“We are using the opportunity offered by this postponement to re-assess our Census Work-plan and to inject any input that would add value to the strategies for implementing the methodology for optimal success.

“We need to reassure you that the coming Census will not be like the previous exercises which were marred by incidences of undercounting, multiple counting and inaccurate enumeration leading to Lack of trust in the census data and making it  difficult to use for planning and development purposes.

“We have also put some measures in the process to curtail incidences of political interferences with the census process,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, the Plateau State Director of the NPC, Mrs Felicia Mwolpun, urged the citizens to cooperate and support the Commission to enable it achieve it’s goals.


Federal Government postpones census indefinitely

The 2023 national census scheduled for May 3-7 has been postponed indefinitely by the federal government. 

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the incoming administration will determine if the census will hold.

Mohammed further revealed that the postponement was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari after a meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, earlier scheduled for 3-7 May 2023, to a date to be determined by the incoming Administration.

“The President gave the approval after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday (28 April 2023).

“In arriving at the decision to postpone the Census, the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last Census, to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people.

“The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, conduct of first and second pretests, the recruitment and training of adhoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

“He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses

“The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.

“The meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.”