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2024 population census will hold as scheduled - Senate

Earlier the Chairman, NPC, Nasir Kwarra landed the Senate for the screening.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday, May 29, 2023, postponed the 2023 population census indefinitely. (Premium Times)

Ningi said this at the screening of 17 out of the 19 National Population Commission (NPC) National Commissioner nominees on Wednesday in Abuja.

“Coincidentally, most of the nominees are actually people coming for a second term.

“It is actually a renomination and we have perused through their credentials presented in the first instance, compared to the ones they have just presented,” he said.

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Ningi that conducting the census was all about political will by the government adding that Nigeria had not conducted a population census in the last 11 years.

“We are almost 11 years without taking the United Nations resolution on population which comes almost every seven years.

“I’m sure with the political will, this is possible, it’s doable, the commission is ready, the personnel are ready.

All we need to do is the announcement by the President that the population census is coming on a date and once he says it, the international observers will now come in with their support.

“Without the President’s declaration, no one will send a kobo to Nigeria to support population census,” he said.

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Ningi added: “Seventy-five per cent of the logistics in terms of machines, in terms of training of the personnel have been completed.

“All we need to do is for the President to have the political will, commitment to say the census is taking place and we cannot postpone it.”

He said that population census was actually the basic crux of human development adding that without census you can’t plan anything.

“That’s why it’s difficult now to ascertain the exact population. Even pro-rata, how many are Nigerians because of lack of political will,” he said.

Ningi said that since the population census was critical to development, all efforts must be made to ensure its takeoff.

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“The nominees should realise the importance of the assignment before them. The last time we had a national census was more than a decade ago.

“No nation improves nor develops without knowing its number and therefore, this is a unique assignment that the nominees would face in due course.

“This is because we are going to face the national census. And you have been selected because of your pedigree, your experience and your exposure to the system.

“It is very imperative while you are on that duty, we must see ourselves as Nigerians. There is no basis for any competition that whether there are more Hausa people than Igbo people or Yoruba than Tiv,” he said.

Earlier the Chairman, NPC, Nasir Kwarra landed the Senate for the screening.

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“We have been waiting for the screening a long time ago. Thank God we are here today.

“Out of the 19 nominees that were sent, two will not be here. Because the commissioner representing Ondo has been appointed as the Secretary to the State Government.

“The commissioner representing Ogun, he contested the House of Assembly election. Initially, he wasn’t declared a winner. The court gave him the seat. So he is not going to be sworn in.”

Dogon Bauchi, the nominee for Kaduna State, appreciated President Bola Tinubu for the appointment.

“We were given a soft landing as women, we appreciate the President on the trust, as women, we will give our best, women are trying, we will continue to do our best. This census will be done well, the mechanism to be used will bring the best, we will not fail Nigerians,” she said.

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Those screened included Sa’adatu Dogon Bauchi; Kaduna State, Emmanuel Eke; Abia, Dr Clifford Zirra; Adamawa, Chidi Ezeoke; Anambra, Isa Buratai; Borno, Bishop Alex Ukam; Cross River, Blessyn Brume-Ataguba; Delta, Dr Jeremiah Nwankwegu; Ebonyi.

Others were Dr Tony Aiyejina; Edo, Ejike Ezeh; Enugu, Abubakar Damburam; Gombe, Prof. Uba Nnabue; Imo, Dr Aminu Tsanyawa; Kano, Yori Afolabi; Kogi, Mary Afan; Plateau, Saany Sale; Taraba and Ogiri Henry; Rivers.

NAN reports that two nominees, Olakunle Sobukola; Ogun and Temitayo Oluwatiyi; Ondo were absent at the screening.

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