2023 census postponed to avert national crisis – NPC

The National Population Commission, NPC said the proposed the 2023 Population and Housing Census was postponed to avert national crisis in the country.

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

This, according to her, was against widespread insinuations that the census was postponed due to insufficient funds.

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 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 the 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 said.

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.

She said, “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 a 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 to achieve its goals.