Following the May 29 handover ceremony, President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday approved the postponement of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census scheduled to earlier hold between May 3 and May 7.
The census which has been gritted by controversies, was postponed for lack of preparedness by the National Population Commission or NPC, to successfully handle the exercise, including funding and the fact that it was scheduled too close to the end of the Buhari-led administration, which above all, initiated calls from different quarters, to postpone the exercise.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the federal government, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said that the incoming administration of President-Elect, Bola Tinubu would be saddled with the responsibility of carrying out the census.
The Minister said the exercise was postponed till such time that would be determined by the incoming administration.
He noted that the President approved the postponement of the exercise after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council, the Chairman of the National Population Commission, and his team on Friday at Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Mohammed who doubles as the Chairman of the National Publicity and Advocacy Committee on the 2023 Census, said: “In arriving at the decision to postpone the census, the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last census.
“This will help to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people,” the minister quoted the president as saying.
He also said the president acknowledged that appreciable progress had been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, especially in the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country and conduct of the first and second pretests.
He continued that the president acknowledged the recruitment and training of ad-hoc workers as well as the procurement of Personal Digital Assistants and ICT infrastructure.
Mohammed said the president further commended the methodology being put in place by the commission to conduct an accurate and reliable census, while directing the commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate on the stated achievements.