President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, approved N10 billion for the continuation of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in 546 local government areas in the country.
The EAD is the process of delineating the entire land area of the country into small geographical and demographic units called Enumeration Areas. The EAD is a preparatory exercise for the actual census.
Mr Buhari also approved an additional N4.5 billion to be included in the 2021 Budget for completion of the exercise as part of the preparations for the next census.
This was disclosed by the Acting Chairman National Population Commission (NPC), Eyitayo Oyetunji, on Monday in Abuja.
“Details from EAD are invaluable for security surveillance and crime prevention,” Mr Oyetunji said.
“The President has graciously followed this up by a further approval of an additional N45 billion to be included in the 2021 Budget for the completion of the exercise as part of preparations for the next census,” he said
“No doubt, this milestone development underscores the president’s understanding of the role of data, especially demographic data as the bedrock for informed development planning and allocation of resources, facilities and services.”
When asked about the timing of the next census, he said no date has been fixed yet.
“I can tell you that we are very close to the conduct of the census.
“That in itself is an indication that government is working towards the exercise. And you will also agree that at a time like this there was high demand for scarce resources for government to commit a sum of N10 billion to the EAD is an indication that we are truly closer than when we began.
“Like they say in the Bible, the exact time and date is what we have not yet indicated. With the speed we want to complete the EAD which is the major preparatory activity, for us at the NPC, we are ready at any moment and prepared to conduct the census. We just need a nod to do so.”
The last time Nigeria conducted a census was in 2006.
Mr Oyetunji said 228 local governments have been successfully demarcated across the 36 states and FCT in the previous nine phases.
He said the 10th Phase of the exercise will commence on October 5 and end on October 29, 2020, including training and fieldwork.
He said a new phase of the EAD will commence on October 5 across 25 states in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has entered into a special arrangement with the NPC in which “digitised maps of INEC Registration Areas (Wards)” will be created to aid the process.
He said it is expected that the output of the collaborative effort will further enhance the accuracy and transparency of future elections.
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