The Director-General of the National Popu­lation Commission (NPC), Dr. Ghaji Bello, says the National Population Cen­sus will hold in 2018, if neces­sary logistics are provided.
Bello, in an interview with News Agency of Nige­ria (NAN) in New York on Sunday, said that the exercise should have been conducted in 2016 in line with interna­tional practice.
“If we are given all the re­sources that we need today, we may need possibly the first quarter of next year before we can do proper census.
“Because there are quite a number of processes that have to be undertaken as part of the preparatory activities between now and the actual census phase itself.
“And that would be some­times in the first quarter of 2018 and thereabout.
“Ordinarily, it ought to have a cycle of its own and that cycle should be five years or 10 years.
“We should have conduct­ed the last census in 2016 but for a variety of reasons out­side the control of the popu­lation commission, we were unable to do it.
“One, in 2015, there was a general election; because of the preparations towards the general election, that in a way affected our ability to be mo­bilised to move with full gear for the 2016.
“Secondly, once the elec­tion was concluded and there was a new government in place, that government also has to get its foot on ground before it can move forward.
“But no sooner had it start­ed to settle down than there was the issue of recession, collapse of the oil in the in­ternational market and with a variety of other reasons again, it just didn’t happen.
To meet the UN 10-year benchmark, Bello said the commission was working for a constitutional amendment that would allow for sched­uled conduct of the census. - The Authority