The Federal Government (FG) has declared that the 2023 National Population and Housing Census will commence on May 3, 2023.
A member of the Publicity and Advocacy Committee on the 2023 National Population and Housing Census, Dr Garba Abari, made the declaration in Abuja on Sunday.
He said the three-day exercise would commence on May 3 and end on May 5, 2023, across the country.
Abari, who is the Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), explained that the census exercise would capture every person, household, and structure for national planning and project execution purposes.
He stated that the change in the date was due to the postponement of the 2023 gubernatorial and 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.
Abari 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.
“The census had to be put forward from the initial date of March 29 to April 2nd, now to May 3rd to 5th.
“There are two things that informed the shift in date. First, in the course of our planning by the National Population Commission, it was so factored that INEC will also tinker with its own electoral timetable.
“The gubernatorial election, as you are aware, had to be shifted by one week. This had a telling effect on the date of commencement of the census.
“Just like election, the Census is also a very long process, from the training, the sub-trainings, retraining leading up till the very day of the actual house listing and numbering.
“These will then be followed by the actual capture of the population,” the NOA boss added.
On the level of preparedness, Abari assured Nigerians that the National Population Commission (NPC) was ready to embark on the exercise.
He described the exercise as a significant event that would aid national planning and execution of developmental projects.
The NOA DG said: “Most of the information that has gone out to the public about the census like the awareness creation, sensitisation, enlightenment, advocacy around the census have all been taking place.
“Perhaps, not on a scale that will make us feel comfortable to say every Nigerian is now census conscious, census aware, in spite of the very significant role that it has to play in our national life.
“But, clearly, the census is absolutely important because it is for development, planning, security, infrastructure development, educational, health, and other demographic considerations all encapsulating in one.”