Transparency in National Census: Center Welcomes Digitization of Process

The Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch, while participating at the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Lunchtime Seminar, has welcomed the planned digitization of the forthcoming census exercise.

The Center’s Executive Director, Umar Yakubu made this position on the heels of the disclosure by the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra during his presentation on the theme: “National Development and the Imperatives of 2023 Population and Housing Census.” He said that digitization would increase the transparency and credibility of the process.

The Center also seized the opportunity to demand for transparency and accountability in the spending of the over N400 billion earmarked for the exercise.

In his presentation, the Chairman said that the Commission is committed and working with stakeholders to conduct the first fully “digital and transformative” census in Nigeria in April 2023; noting that the data that will be generated from the exercise will greatly assist in governance and socio-economic planning and development of the country at large.

Kwarra stated that population is a critical factor in the nation’s effort towards achieving sustainable development, adding that a knowledge of the country’s population in terms of size, distribution and socio-economic characteristics will be useful for planning. He therefore described the forthcoming process as “one huge investment the nation must make to launch Nigeria into the path of economic prosperity through proper planning and optimal allocation of resources.”

In his remarks, the BPSR Director General, Mr. Dasuki Arabi also stated that a knowledge of the nation’s population is crucial for planning and development. “Development must begin and end with addressing the aspirations of the populace for higher living standards because they are both the agents and the beneficiaries of the development process,” he said.

While urging the Commission to strengthen its collaborations with all stakeholders, including Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and media in order to improve publicity ahead of the exercise, Arabi advised it to be circumspect with the management and security of data, given the spate of cyber-attacks in recent time.

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