THE National Population Commission (NPC) has earmarked a total sum of N222 billion to conduct the 2018 population census across the country.
Chairman of the commission, Eze Duruiheoma, disclosed this on Tuesday, in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, during the opening ceremony of the review workshop of phase one and two, the training of the trainers for phase three and Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) for the 2018 population and housing census.
The chairman explained that the budget was arrived at after careful balancing of the imperatives and requirement for the conduct of a truly scientific census, saying the census was biometric-based and would seek to capture the facial impression and finger prints of persons during the census period.
He explained further that the budgeted amount would facilitate the procurement of hand-held devices required for the biometric-based census and the huge number of field staff which was about 1.5 million to be engaged.
“Population is the real treasure base of the nation and most valuable asset in the development process. Census provides us with the tool to tap the population asset for development.
“There is no better time to conduct a census than this period of economic recession. Coming out from recession is definitely a complex and difficult task, but this can be made easier if demographic data is allowed to be the compass of economic revival programme of government at all tiers,” the NPC boss said.
Speaking on the EAD, Chief Duruiheoma said the EAD was a learning process to the commission of identifying areas of successes, achievements, challenges to be improved upon and pitfalls to be avoided.
“To us at the commission, getting the 2018 census EAD right is not just an option, but an absolute necessity in the quest to deliver to the nation an accurate, reliable,acceptable and verifiable census,” he said.
The chairman further disclosed that the phase three of the EAD would take place in 37 local government areas with one local government selected in each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).