Reps To Probe NPC Over N200bn Spent On Postponed Census

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, decided to investigate the N200 billion allocated for the suspended 2023 population and housing census.

During plenary, the lower legislative chamber passed the resolution following a motion titled, “Need to Investigate N200 Billion Spent on the Suspended 2023 Population and Housing Census,” by Clement Akanni, a lawmaker from Osun State.

Recall that former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration indefinitely postponed the 2023 national census in April 2023, originally scheduled for May 3-5.

The National Population Commission (NPC) had cited the need for N200 billion for preparation.

Akanni emphasized the census’ significance in providing accurate demographic data for policy formulation and sustainable development planning.

The lawmakers also noted that governments conduct censuses to gather accurate and comprehensive information such as age, sex, marital status, education, occupation, housing, and other relevant demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of a country.

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The House said it was aware that the last census that was conducted in 2006 by the National Population Commission gave a population figure of 140 million.

It said it was also aware that the immediate-past administration of former President, Muhammadu Buhari planned to conduct another census in 2022, but the programme was later postponed to 2023.

The House recalled that earlier in March 2023 the former Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said a total of N869 Billion would be required for the exercise, including Post-Census-Activities.

Disturbed that the exercise was, however, suspended indefinitely by Buhari a few days before leaving office, the motion was adopted when it was put to a voice vote by Benjamin Kalu, Deputy Speaker, who presided over plenary.

Consequently, the house mandated the committee on population to investigate NPC for spending N200 billion on a census that was never held.