By Uche Amunike
The Speaker, Bornu State House of Assembly, Abdulkareem Lawan, has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for postponing the national population and housing census that was billed to hold in May 2023.
Speaking to newsmen, Saturday, in Maiduguri, the lawmaker stated that most of the people from the 10 local government areas in northern Borno were still in displacement in locations within the country and taking refuge in neighbouring countries like Niger, Chad and Cameroon Republic due to the terror unleashed by the Boko Haram sect, for over a decade, adding that there is a need for them to return home in order to be counted as well.
He reiterated that allowing the 2023 census to hold would amount to infringing on the human rights of a large population of the IDPs and refugees and buttressed that the postponement would be a good opportunity for all the displaced persons and refugees to be counted alongside every other Nigerian.
Recall that the population and housing Census which was slated for May 3rd-7th, was postponed to a date that is yet to be be chosen by the incoming administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari, approved of the postponement after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and Chairman of the National Population Commission, Nasir Isa-Kwarrah and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Friday 28, 2023.
A press release signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had given his word that great progress had been made in preparing and implementing the now postponed head count, further stating that he also approved of the methodology that was being utilized by the NPC to carry out accurate and reliable census.
The statement partly read: ‘The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, conduct of first and second pre-tests, the recruitment and training of ad hoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.’
‘He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses.’
It also stated: ‘The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.’
‘The meeting was attended by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mr Clem Agba and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha’, it concluded.