House of Reps probe N200bn spent on postponed census


The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the expenditure by the Nigerian Population Commission from the N800bn approved by the Federal Government for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

This was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by a lawmaker representing Aguta Federal Constituency, Anambra State, Mr Dominic Okafor.

The motion was titled, “Need to investigate the expenditure on the postponed 2023 Population and Housing Census by the National Population Commission and Conduct of the National Population/Housing Census.”

The PUNCH reports that the census was slated for May 3-7, 2023 but was postponed indefinitely by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Leading the debate on the motion, Okafor said despite the postponement, the NPC “has admitted to have spent N200bn as part of the N800bn budgeted for the planning mid-execution of the 2023 population and housing census, which was postponed.”

According to the lawmaker, the money invested in the postponed 2023 budget would have meaningfully changed the lives of many Nigerians and improved distribution of palliatives across the country.

For the purpose of development,Okafor called on President Bola Tinubu to fix a date for the conduct of the exercise, adding that failure to do so would invalidate data already gathered for the population census.

Declaring support for the motion on the need to probe the expenditure by the NPC, the lawmaker representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Usman Jaha, said population census could not hold in the country considering the security situation in the North-East, North-West, North-Central and other parts of the country.

The House, in adopting the motion, dropped the prayers urging the President to pick a date for the exercise and resolved to investigate the money expended on the postponed census.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Abbas Tajudeen, referred the motion to the Committee on Population for appropriate advice.