The National Council of State has approved April 2023, to conduct a national population census for Nigeria.
The exercise is expected to be held a month after the general elections, slated for February and March 2023.
Director-General of National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa-Kwarra, disclosed this to State House Correspondents after a meeting of the Council of State presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
Isa-Kwarra also said the NPC would be conducting a pilot census from June 2022 after political parties must have concluded their pre-general elections activities.
According to the NPC boss, the last census exercise was held in 2006. He, however, disclosed that the commission will deploy high technology in the conduct of the planned national census.
Isa-Kwarra, who said through census data is generated for planning, said the data currently being used are mere projections and obsolete.
He said, “The National Population Commission is to conduct a Pilot Census in June this year, after the political parties’ primary elections. The last census was held in August 2006.
“It is very crucial to hold a census because it is a very important exercise for the nation. Because through the census we generate the data that we use for policy making, for planning, for development, by the three tiers of government, and the private sector, they all need this.
“If you are a private sector, you’re producing something; certainly, you need to know the population of an area if you want to create a market there.
“So, census data is very crucial, very important. Because, the data we’ve been using are just projections, estimation. And are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning.”
Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who also briefed correspondents, disclosed that President Buhari will meet security chiefs on Tuesday next week, over the current security situation in the country, following recommendations and comments by the Council of State.
He said the necessary measures would be taken to ensure that farmers across the country carry out their activities without any hindrance.The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice,
On his part, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the Council of State approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in correctional centres.
Also, Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, said the council approved the conferment of National Honours Award on 434 Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in the various fields of endeavours.
This is the fourth time the President will preside over the meeting, with the first being held on October 21, 2015 and the second on September 7, 2016 and the third was held virtually in August 2020
The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the executive on policy making matters.
Members of the council include: President Vice President, past presidents, Senate President, House of Reps Speaker Chief Justice of Nigeria, serving and past.
Others are Attorney General of the Federation, all State Governors and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).