Nigeria is scheduled to hold a national census between March and April 2023, for the first time in 16 years.
This was part of the resolutions reached at the Council of State meeting held in Abuja on Thursday. The meeting was chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari and was attended by former Heads of State – Abdusalami Abubakar, Goodluck Jonathan, and Yakubu Gowon.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, Boss Mustapha; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari were also in attendance.
State Governors – Hope Uzodinma of Imo State; Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state among others – took part in the deliberations.
Other issues discussed at the meeting include prerogative of mercy – 159 persons out of 162 are to be granted various levels of pardon by the President.
The Council briefed on security situations across the country and President Buhari is to hold a security meeting with security chiefs, based on the Council’s presentations, on Tuesday.
The Council also resolved to confer national honours on 434 Nigerians. It will be the first honours granted by President Buhari since he assumed office in 2015.
The National Population Commission had a long history spanning over four decades. The nucleus of the agency was the National Census Board which conducted the 1973 Census and headed by the late Justice Adetokunbo Ademola. It was an ad-hoc body and became the National Population Bureau after the exercise.
However, the Commission had existed in its present form as a permanent and autonomous body with constitutional power since 1981 when the late Alhaji Abdulrahman Okene was inaugurated as Chairman with members drawn from 19 states of the federation by former President Shehu Shagari. The Commission never conducted a census.
Following the military takeover of 31st December 1983 and the suspension of the 1979 Constitution, the Commission was dissolved and it reverted to National Population Bureau headed by a director.
Consequently, in 1989, the present Commission was re-established as an independent and autonomous body led by Alhaji Shehu Musa, CFR and the Commission conducted its first census in 1991. The establishment of the Commission was further reinforced in accordance with section 153 (J) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as one of the Federal Executive Bodies. Thereafter, the Commission under the chairmanship of Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama conducted another but first Population and Housing Census in 2006.
The Commission has re positioned itself under the current leadership of Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra to deliver the first digital Population and Housing Census in Nigeria later this year. The present Commission is made up of a chairman and 37 members, drawn one from each State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. It has offices in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as well as in the 774 LGAs of Nigeria.
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