Saturday, 17 June 2023

NPC: How we spent N200bn in eight years preparing for census


The National Population Commission (NPC) says it spent N200 billion in eight years preparing for the “indefinitely postponed” national 

The exercise was billed to take place across the country between May 3 and 5 but former President Muhammadu Buhari approved an indefinite postponement of the census.
Lai Mohammed, former minister of information and culture, had said the new administration would determine a date for the exercise.
There have been concerns over how the commission spent the aforementioned sum.
In a statement on Friday, Isiaka Yahaya, NPC’s director of public affairs, said the commission began spending the sum in 2014 when preparations for the census commenced.
Yahaya said the outcome of the preparatory activities are already yielding dividends that are far in excess of the N200 billion spent so far.
“It has become necessary to set the records straight and put into proper context the expenditure of N200 billion by the national population commission in preparation for the 2023 census,” he said.
“Yes, it is true that N200 billion has been spent on preparations for the 2023 census so far. However, this fund was not expended in the last few weeks, months or years but rather since 2014 when preparations for the 2023 census actually began.
“Indeed, part of the N200 billion was expended before the coming of the present commission, which was inaugurated twice between 2018 and 2020 and even before the inception of the Buhari administration.
“The monetary value of this data alone runs into trillions of naira. This has also provided enumeration area frames that can be used for future censuses and surveys.
“Through the recruitment exercise for the census, the commission has generated a database of young persons who applied for the census jobs with information on their names, ages, qualifications, addresses, phone numbers and account numbers.”
The director said the “skewed media narratives” behind the N200 billion expended in preparation for the forthcoming census is an attempt to divert attention from the “great work” the commission has done so far.

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