The National Population Commission (NPC) has clarified that the 2023 population and housing census has been postponed rather than cancelled. Sir Richard Odibo, the NPC national commissioner representing Delta State, made this announcement in Asaba, the state capital, during discussions regarding the census. He assured the public that the materials procured for the census are safely stored in Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) offices nationwide, awaiting a new date for the exercise.
According to the national commissioner, significant progress had been made, with 70% of the census preparation already completed prior to the postponement. All the necessary materials and devices required for the execution of the census are securely kept under the custody of the CBN. Emphasizing the importance of this information, he reiterated that the census has not been cancelled, and the work done since 2013 has not been in vain.
Mr. Patrick Lotobi, the state director of NPC, highlighted the level of preparedness of the commission at the state and local levels, affirming the readiness of personnel once a new commencement date is announced for the census.
Expressing concern over the delays in conducting the national census, Comrade Patrick Ochei, the secretary of the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), urged the government to provide the necessary support to the population commission. He emphasized the significance of generating accurate data for national planning and development, emphasizing the urgent need to carry out the census.
The postponement of the census allows the NPC to ensure thorough preparation and readiness to conduct an accurate and reliable population and housing census. It underscores the importance of creating a comprehensive national database that will facilitate effective planning and development initiatives.