Management of the National Population Commission (NPC) has said Nigeria requires N207billion to conduct a successful digital population census next year if approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In an interview with LEADERSHIP, the chairman of Census Committee and federal commissioner representing Rivers State in the NPC, Ipalibo Harry, he declared the readiness of the commission to conduct the first-ever digital population census in May next year.
Harry said the NPC had carried out census pretest exercises in the Federal capital Territory (FCT) and some states across the country to test run the digital process.
However, the committee chairman objected to the N178 billion budget that had been approved by the National Assembly, stating that it was a far cry from what would be needed for the exercise.
He also addressed the notion that while Nigerians might raise hackles on the issue of the proposed budget not being enough, it was important to note that the exercise would need manpower to execute and there was a need to study the census budget of previous years and in other climes.
The National Assembly had approved N178 billion for the proposed census in the 2022 national budget.
Harry said, “The estimated budget approved by the National Assembly is N178 billion and that is a far cry from what it ought to be, but we hope that a supplementary budget will come afterward, but I don’t have the idea of what the cost implications would be, you can take it from me that the total budget won’t be less than N207 billion.”