By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—National Population Commission, NPC, said, yesterday, that there was no definite date yet for conduct of census in the country.
The commission also said it lacked the power to set a date for conduct of census in the country, saying such power only resided in the federal government through proclamation by the President.
It equally explained that the conduct of the 2015 general election, which saw a change of government at the central level, altered the date for conduct of census earlier billed for 2016.
Chairman of the commission, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, who stated this while addressing journalists in Abuja, on the commencement of the 4th phase of the Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, said the commission was unaware of when census would be held in the country.
When told that there was information in public domain that census would hold in 2018, he denied, saying he was unaware of such development.
He said: “I don’t know where this 2018 census date came from but definitely not from this commission. But I can give you a little background to it. The original date for census was 2016 but in 2015,when the new government came on seat, it would have been unfair to present such an agenda to an incoming administration that was yet to settle down.
“We have not received presidential proclamation but it’s not late, it can still be secured. So tentatively, we suggested 2017 but gave some kind of rider to it, that if it was to take place in 2017, we should look at the things we need to do and their cost implications.
‘’In other words, if we had the funds that time, 2017 would have been a reality. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Now, we adjusted the programme and started hinting about 2018 if certain things were put in place. So that is the history of 2018,we never said there would be census in 2018.”
“But by the way, let me converse first with INEC. They can present the timetable, look at what we intend to do and government could say no, that date is not okay. So ours is to present the timetable or advice.
“Census is not only a National Population Commission’s affair, there are so many other agencies of government that are involved in census.”