The Chairman of the National Population Commission, Eze Duru Iheoma (SAN), on Monday disclosed that the proposed 2016 Census will cost the nation about N273billion.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement said the NPC boss stated this when he led other national commissioners to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the commission’s activities inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The statement quoted Iheoma as telling the president that out of the amount, N10billion would be needed immediately.
The statement read, “Iheoma had briefed the President on what will be required for the commission to conduct a national census next year, 10 years after the last exercise, as stipulated by the United Nations.
“A national population census, the chairman said, would cost about N273 billion, while about N10 billion of the amount would be needed immediately.
“He told the President that a biometric-based census was being proposed because it will eliminate multiple respondents, and ghost respondents, while making the outcome easy to audit”.
In his reaction, Buhari was said to have charged government agencies to harmonise the collection and usage of biometric data in the country, instead of duplicating their efforts in this regard.
The President wondered why each agency would gather its own biometric data, when such data could easily be shared.
“It will be more cost effective if you work together. It helps even the credibility of the election process, as Nigerians of voting age can be identified easily”, the president said.
Buhari added that all the agencies should work collaboratively instead of going in different directions, stressing that adequate data was necessary for planning and development in any country.
Government organisations that currently collect biometric data include the National Population Commission, National Identity Management Commission, Federal Road Safety Commission and the Independent National Electoral Commission among others.