The Nigerian national population and housing census, scheduled to commence in twelve days, is facing challenges that may cause a delay. The National Population Commission may have to postpone the census due to funding and logistic issues.
The Federal Government has committed N291.5bn to the exercise, but the total cost is N869bn. A further N327.2bn is required to complete the census. It has been postponed twice before under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership.
The census was originally planned for 2022 but moved to 2023 due to the elections and the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2021/2022, funds were allocated for the census. However, the government and the commission appear to be struggling to raise the necessary funds.
On Friday, ad hoc staff members of the commission in Bauchi State protested their alleged unpaid allowances. The commission has urged members of the private sector to donate cash or offer to buy some of the materials needed for the census.
The delay in training ad hoc workers at the local government level has also caused concern, and no new date has been set for their training.