The National Population Commission (NPC) has said it’s looking to spend ₦2,800 to count each Nigerian in the 2023 National Population and Housing Census exercise.
This is in response to calls from concerned Nigerians and some groups who demanded a breakdown of how the commission’s N896 budget for the exercise will be expended.
The critics alleged that the proposed spending for the exercise was too exorbitant and called for transparency on the part of the commission.
BudgIT, a leading public data organisation, had in a statement on Monday, May 27, 2023, stated that it is important for the population agency to inform the public on how it wants to spend the fund.
Recall that earlier in March, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, had said a total of N869 billion ($1.88 billion) would be required for the exercise. This figure includes post-census activities,” the statement partly read.
Reacting to the calls, the Federal Commissioner of the NPC in Enugu State, Ejike Eze, said that the commission proposed to spend ₦2,800 to count each person, which he claimed is cheaper compared to what was spent by other countries.
Eze said this while speaking in Abuja on Sunday, April 15, 2023, adding that the NPC budget was the least when compared with the budgets of countries like the U.S. and Malawi.
“The U.S.A. spent between 12 dollars and 15 dollars (N5,760 –N7,200) to count a citizen, while Malawi spent nine dollars (N4,320) per citizen.
“In Nigeria, however, we are making a proposal to spend six dollars (N2,880) to count a citizen,” the NPC official said.
The exercise, scheduled to hold from May 3 to May 5, 2023, is the first census to be conducted in the most populous black nation since 2006.
The 2006 exercise put Nigeria’s population at 140,431,790 with males accounting for 71,345,488 while the female population stood at 69,086,302.
The NPC has vowed that every resident, both Nigerians and non-Nigerians, will be counted in this year’s exercise.