For the diligent prosecution of the National Population and Housing census scheduled to commence on March 29, the federal government will require a whopping N869 billion for a hitch-free exercise.
Although the government says it already raised N291.5 billion to execute the census, it plans to establish a basket fund to redeem donations and pledges towards the execution of the census.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, at a high-level partner engagement on the 2023 population census explained that the sum required will go to fund the census and other post-census activities.
He explained that N626 billion, an equivalent of ($1.36 billion) will be used for the census proper while N243 billion representing ($527 million) will go to post-census activities for the next three years.
Agba noted that a total of 885,000 enumerators will be trained for building numbering and household listing for seven days, explaining that a total of 773 local governments have already been demarcated.
He informed that census will be executed in partnership with development partners while the United Nations Populations Fund, UNFPA will manage the basket fund to be established.
Meanwhile, Ulla Mueller, the UNFPA representative in Nigeria while tasking stakeholders to support the exercise assured of the continuous support and advice of the global population agency.
“It’s a green census. Climate change is real. So we have together with the population commission gone over and beyond to ensure that we apply methodologies that are friendly to the climate to the extent possible.
‘‘The government has contributed already almost half of this budget and is commendable. We have to stand together figuring out how we take this to the goalpost. If we don’t, the world will fail to deliver the SDGs. It’s not only about Nigeria’s influence in Africa but it’s also about Nigeria’s global influence as the third most populous country.”
Going by statistical projections and a 3.2 per cent growth rate, Nigeria is expected to hit 400 million or more by 2050, the most populous after India, China and the United States.
Nigeria is estimated to be among eight countries that contribute to more than half of the world’s population growth.