A public policy analyst, Chima Christian, says the postponement of the proposed national census is only one out of six problems that Nigeria needs to address.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, last week, approved a halt in the execution of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, earlier scheduled for May 3 – 7, 2023.
Buhari gave the approval after meeting with some Federal Executive Council (FEC) members and the National Population Commission (NPC) Chairman, Nasir Isa-Kwarra.
However, Chima, in a statement, insists NPC’s systems and processes must be subjected to a series of independent multi-stakeholder audits and integrity tests.
”The human capacity questions around the NPC must be satisfactorily addressed before there can be hope for an acceptable exercise”, he added.
Chima advised the NPC to pay attention to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have been confined to camps since invaders occupied their homes and farmlands.
“It is not a win, yet. We must roll up our sleeves to continue the hard work of getting a credible census. We must empanel ideas around data integrity and data verification,” he noted.
He further called for a review of the laws governing the exercise to make concrete amendment suggestions to the National Assembly.
NPC’s operational guidelines, according to him will also have to be dutifully reviewed to identify the weaknesses and propose updates where required.
The internal lobby and pressure arm of the effort to mobilise broad stakeholder consensus will have to be intensified, Chima stressed.