President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the 2023 National Census in Nigeria. The decision to postpone the census, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2022, was made after a meeting between the President and the National Population Commission (NPC).
Reasons for Postponement:
The postponement was due to the ongoing security challenges in the country as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. The NPC had earlier informed the President that conducting a census under the prevailing circumstances would be challenging and may not produce accurate results.
Implications of Postponement:
The decision to postpone the census has raised concerns among Nigerians, as the census is a critical exercise in the country’s governance and development. It is used for policy formulation, planning, and resource allocation and also serves as a basis for the distribution of political power in the country.
The postponement could have far-reaching implications for the country’s political landscape, as it may affect the redrawing of constituency boundaries ahead of the 2023 general elections. It could also affect the sharing of revenue among the various tiers of government.
While announcing the postponement, the President directed the NPC to commence a biometric-based census, which would be more accurate and reliable than the previous headcount exercise. The biometric census will involve the capture of fingerprints and other personal details for every Nigerian resident.
In conclusion, while the postponement of the national census is a setback for the country, the move to conduct a biometric-based census is a step in the right direction. The exercise will provide accurate data that will guide policy formulation and planning and ensure that resources are allocated appropriately. It is therefore imperative for the government to ensure that the biometric census is conducted in a transparent, credible, and inclusive manner to avoid any controversy that may arise.
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