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FG shops for N869b to conduct census

The Federal Government says over $1.88 billion (N869 billion) is needed to conduct the 2023 population and housing census.

Recall that in April 2022, the Federal Government announced that it would conduct the census in April 2023 after the elections.

Speaking at a high-level partner engagement, on Monday, in Abuja, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clement Agba, said the Federal Government had provided 46 percent of the budget.

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Agba said there still remains an outstanding of N327.2 billion needed to carry out the census effectively.

His words, “The total requirements for this census, including the post-census activities, is N869 billion, this is about 1.88 billion US dollars.

“When you hear the numbers, they really look very huge. Censuses all over the world, the average is between four to six dollars. However, in the United States, they spend $16 per person. In Botswana, they spend about $10 per person. So Nigeria’s $6 per person, you’ll agree with me, is very reasonable.

“So far, the government has spent 291.5 billion naira which is $632 million. This is about 46 percent of the requirement for the census. I know this time around we’re not just doing only the population census, we’re also doing a housing census.

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“So, the additional requirements for the critical items to ensure the census is done is 327.2 billion naira. This is about 709.9 million US dollars.”

Agba explained that the government has not conducted a census in almost two decades due to the change in administration, recession, and COVID-19, among others.

He said the census would be digital, green, and transformative, adding that beyond insecurity and cultural issues, funding remains a major challenge for the exercise.

He said the government needs support from the public both “in cash and kind”, to among other things purchase tablets for enumerators, internet and data connectivity as well as conduct training.