Vice President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday tasked the National Population Commission (NPC) on the need to conduct a reliable, cost-effective and acceptable census.
The chairman of the NPC, Chief Eze Duruheoma (SAN), had on August 10, 2015 told President Muhammadu Buhari that the proposed 2016 census would cost about N273 billion.
Speaking during a meeting with a delegation of the NPC led by its chairman at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday, the vice president said the charge on a cost-effective and reliable census had become necessary in view of “the irregularities that had trailed some of the previous census exercises”.
Osinbajo, who described harmonisation of demographic data as very important for national development planning, especially for some of the current administration’s social investment plans, said Nigeria must be able to determine her population.
He stressed that having a single platform for data management in the country is very important for national planning and economic development.
“We must be able to honestly determine how many we are as a people. Having a reliable harmonised data base will help socio economic planning, including the home-grown school feeding programme and the conditional cash transfer-two of the several social investment plans of the Buhari administration”, he said.
“Technology has now made it possible to harmonize data”, the VP noted adding that “with technology we can actually bring down the cost of data-gathering”.
Mr. Osinbajo also noted that because of technology, data gathering has also become simpler, more efficient and cheaper.
Earlier, Mr. Duruheoma said the commission was partnering with other agencies such as the National Identity Management Commission to produce a single platform of data management for Nigeria.
He said this would reduce costs in the future, as well as ensure authentic identities and easy personal identification.
The NPC chairman noted that the national population register about to be put up by the commission would be the primary source of data as it will give reliable identification of the citizens from the “cradle to the grave”.