- BudgIT has called for transparency and accountability in the N896 billion budget for Nigeria’s 2023 National Population Census exercise.
- The organisation has requested a complete breakdown of the budget, including the amount released, utilized, and cash-back, as well as the list of states and local government areas that would receive the allocations.
- BudgIT notes that Nigeria’s resources are scarce, and investments that will reduce the multidimensional poverty of over 133 million people should be prioritized over frivolous expenses.
BudgIT, one of Nigeria’s civic organisations, has called on the National Population Commission to publish the breakdown of the N896 billion 2023 National Population Census budget.
The organisation made the call in a statement made available to Nairametrics, arguing that this would ensure transparency and accountability.
A total of N869 billion is required for the exercise
According to the organisation, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, had said that a total of N869 billion ($1.88 billion) would be required for the exercise. This figure includes post-census activities.
According to the Minister, N626 billion ($1.36 billion) will be used for the census at $6 per citizen, and N243 billion ($527 million) will be used for post-census activities up to 2025.
Need for accountability
The organisation noted that while the census exercise is crucial for planning a progressive and sustainable development, which is not limited to knowing the revenue estimation, economic needs, unemployment level, living standard and policies, there is a need for the commission to provide details of its budget, to ensure public transparency and accountability.
- “To this end, we have requested the complete breakdown of the N896 billion for the National Population Census exercise, the amount released, utilized, and the cash-back, following the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of 2011.
- We have also requested that the commission make available the list of states and local government areas that would receive these allocations,” the organisation said.
Iyanuoluwa Bolarinwa, Ag Head, Open Government and Institutional Partnership, BudgIT noted that the country’s resources are scarce at this time and that the organisation do not believe this is the best use of N896 billion at these difficult times considering Nigeria’s current debt profile, which stands at N44 trillion.
Bolarinwa noted that the 2023 elections have just ended, and Nigeria could draw some wisdom from it to help save costs during this critical period.
- “The Nigerian government should work on reducing the multidimensional poverty of over 133 million people, and investments that will significantly reduce these numbers should be prioritized and not wasted on frivolities.
- “Therefore, we call on the National Population Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and Planning to make this information available on its website for easy accessibility for the citizens and stakeholders,” Bolarinwa said.
What you should know
the Federal Government has confirmed that the 2023 National Population and Housing Census is to commence on May 3.
Dr Garba Abari, a member of the Publicity and Advocacy Committee on the 2023 National Population and Housing Census confirmed this yesterday in Abuja when he appeared on the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Forum.
He said the three-day exercise would commence on May 3 and end on May 5 across the country.
Abari, who is the Director-General of, the National Orientation Agency, NOA, explained that the census would capture every person, household and structure for national planning and project execution purposes.
According to him, the change in the date was due to the postponement of the 2023 gubernatorial and state houses of assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
- “That change by INEC made it mandatory for us to also adjust the date for the conduct of the exercise,” he said.
He described the census and the 2023 elections as major national events with significant importance which had earlier been planned to hold not too far away from each other.
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