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SEN. NINGI CALLS ON PRESIDENT TINUBU TO FIX DATE FOR CENSUS

March 1, 2024

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population, Sen. Abdul Ningi has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to formally proclaim the conduct of the next Population and Housing Census and direct the release of funds necessary for its implementation.

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population, Sen. Abdul Ningi has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to formally proclaim the conduct of the next Population and Housing Census and direct the release of funds necessary for its implementation.

According to him, this step is crucial in mobilizing the resources required to execute this national task effectively and to ensure that the substantial investment and effort that has been put into realizing this exercise is not wasted.

Sen. Ningi stated this at a retreat organized by the National Population Commission for the Chairman and Members of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population in Uyo.

He said that the importance of precise and comprehensive population data in the fabric of effective governance cannot be overstated.

‘It serves as the backbone of strategic policymaking, efficient resource allocation, and long-term planning, emphasizing our commitment to principles of transparency, thoroughness, and excellence.

‘Our presence here today signifies a collective dedication to these values, reflecting our resolve to uphold the integrity of our demographic endeavours,’ he said.

Sen. Ningi noted that the retreat offers a unique opportunity for the Senate Committee on Population and Identity Management to delve into the Commission's operational framework, understand its roles, and address the challenges it faces, especially in the forthcoming Census.

‘Beyond the immediate census-related tasks, our objectives include expanding our insights into the Commission's overall operations. This effort is underscored by our prior interactions with the Commission, where we were convincingly informed about the significant progress made in preparations for the Census,’ he stated.

Ningi, however, assured the Commission of the Senate Committee's unwavering support towards ensuring a successful and comprehensive Population and Housing Census.

‘Our Committee recognizes the vital role that an accurate population census plays in the development and planning of our nation. With this understanding, we are dedicated to collaborating closely with the Population Commission to address any legislative needs that may arise in the lead-up to the upcoming census.

‘We are committed to reviewing and, if necessary, proposing legislation that will enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and inclusivity of the census process. This includes addressing any challenges faced by the Commission and providing the necessary legal framework to overcome them,’ he said.

Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency, Pastor Umo Eno represented by the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Sen. Dr. Akon Eyakenyi stated while making remarks that no country can plan and develop without accurate data on its total population and demographic spread.

He said that the Government relies on census figures to formulate policies, plan development, allocate resources, site infrastructures and amenities as well as manage security.

‘Without accurate census data, important government institutions such as the National Bureau of Statistics and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can't do their work.

‘The foregoing shows the National Population Commission is an indispensable national institution. This is why we are glad you are here to brainstorm to generate ideas that will facilitate a hitch-free census.

‘As you embark on this crucial national assignment, rest assured of the support, cooperation and partnership of the Akwa Ibom State Government. The outcome of your assignment will doubtless greatly affect the implementation of our ARISE Agenda because we need data to plan.

‘Data generated will help us know where to site new schools, healthcare facilities, markets and even design policies for our special population such as Special Needs Children, widows, the aged and People Living With Disabilities,’ he said.

Earlier, Chairman, National Population Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra while delivering the welcome remarks stated that the legislature constitutes an important pillar of support and a key stakeholder for the successful conduct of the next Census and other population activities.

According to him, the retreat aims to strengthen the commitment and capacity of the lawmakers to productively understand the operation of the Commission, the imperative of the next census and the status of the preparation for the next Population and Housing Census.

He called on the Distinguished Chairman and Members of the Senate Committee on National Identity and Population to support and provide a legislative framework for the Commission to achieve its mandate of providing demographic data for national planning and sustainable development.

NPC Chairman also appreciated the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, for accepting to declare the retreat open.

Meanwhile, the NPC organized a similar retreat for the House of Representatives Committee on Population last December.

In a related development, the Senate Committee and NPC team led by the Chairman of the Commission inspected census sensitive materials such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and power banks stored at the CBN Uyo office and the non-sensitive materials stored in the NPC Uyo office.

The Commission has in the build-up to the next census stored sensitive materials procured for the census exercise in CBN State offices as a way of safeguarding the items.

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