The National Population Commission (NPC) has said it is ready to conduct a new national census across Nigeria but is waiting for the go-ahead from President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Acting Chairman of the Commission, Bimbola Hundeyin, stated this when she appeared before the Senate Committee on National Population and Identity Card for the defence of her commission’s budget for 2020.
She said the commission was awaiting a proclamation to that effect from President Muhammadu Buhari before it could embark on the exercise.
The last census was conducted in 2006 which is more than the 10 years specified in line with international best practices.
However, the NPC had in 2018, put Nigeria’s population at approximately 198 million people. The commission said the urban population within the country has been growing at an average yearly rate of about 6.5 per cent for over 50 years.
According to the commission, this new figure is based on annual population growth of 3.2 per cent, from 2006 to date.
“We’ll like to do another census like yesterday; we are willing to conduct the exercise but the only thing is that we’re waiting for Mr. President’s proclamation which comes with a timeline”, she told the committee.
The Acting Chairman confirmed that the commission was indebted to over N70million for unpaid rents in different parts of the country and called on the lawmakers to intervene in the matter.
She said the office in Abuja was owing a rent of N12 million for the last two years.
“We’re owing not only in Abuja. We’re owing over N70 million on rent and we don’t know where to get that from. We’ll be glad for intervention from the chamber,” she said.
Ms Hundeyin also said the NPC currently occupies 14 buildings across the country. She lamented how the lack of adequate funding has made it difficult to complete its six storey building in Abuja.
“It’s either the commission doesn’t have money to build when we have land or we don’t have land. We have six storey building that can accommodate everyone in Abuja which is 70 per cent completed but abandoned,” she said.