FRESH indications, doubting the possible commencement of the next national census in 2017 have again, emerged.
This is following revelations that the Enumeration Area Demarcation EAD activity for the 2017 census has since been placed on hold due to lack of funds.
The Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) is regarded as a mandatory pre-census activity to ensuring a credible census exercise.
A top source at the National Population Commission NpopC headquarters in Abuja, who confided exclusively with the Tribune Online revealed that out of the over N4.5 billion 2016 budgetary allocation for the commission, nothing was yet to be released by the Federal Government, to the commission.
The development, he said halted the entire process coupled with the overstretched wait on FG’s proclamation on the commencement of the census.
He noted that the entire census process is highly dependent on funding, which was not readily available.
The source who raised doubts on the commencement of the 2017 census, said much time has been wasted waiting for proclamation and release of funds.
It should be noted that to ensure credible and reliable census exercise a minimum of two years is used for pre-census activities.
He said: “even the commencement of exercise not feasible anymore, time has really gone. For the census to hold in 2017 we ought to have gone farther than where we are in the pre-census activities but things are really getting complicated.
“The tenure of the Federal Commissioners will soon end and before they inaugurate new sets, before they settle in, In fact, time has gone but…Now By 2018, election campaigns for 2019 will begin so it is complicated.”
He noted that although, apart from the budget from the FG, the commission also receives funding for census from international donors.
He, however, quickly pointed out that donors will only come in, if the FG shows an expression of interest.
“Yes, we have international donors but for donors to come in, there should be an expression of interest on the part of the government,” he said
According to him, for the census to hold in 2017 as expected, much activities ought to have been carried out, part of which is the EAD.
He stated that so far, out of the 774LGAs where the EAD is supposed to cover; only 37LGAs have been covered.
The last national census was held in 2006 and expected to be conducted within the intervals of 10 years.
However, the next census is due in 2017 and for the country to provide a credible, reliable and adequate data, which will be used for planning; the Population Commission resorted to conducting a biometric and scientific based census.
The commission, sought to eliminate the controversies that trailed the figures gathered in the 2006 census especially where Lagos faulted the 9,113,605 population figure ‘allocated’ to it during the 2006 census.