2023 is a historic year for Nigeria.
Not only are we looking towards the most important election since 1999, but there could be a census. We say "could" because, in typical Nigerian fashion, the planning and budgeting for the census have mostly been audio.
The Population and Housing Census (PHC) is scheduled for April 2023, barely two months after the general elections are slated to take place. The time frame is almost impossible, considering that a successful census takes time and requires vast resources like money and trained enumerators.
What we see, instead, is a 44% upshoot in the statutory transfer (including “inauguration” and severance costs) to the National Assembly (NASS) to ₦228 billion from ₦159 billion in the budget proposal. Even INEC, spearheading the highly anticipated general elections, didn’t receive as much as the NASS. I guess the Nigerian government has started 2023 with top-notch priorities, excellent planning and achievable goals (sarcasm intended).
Still, Nigeria needs this census—it’s been a long 17 years since the last census in 2006.
So, in today’s article, we will discuss in detail why the 2023 census matters for Nigeria.
A digital census
According to the Nigerian Population Commission (NPC), the 2023 PHC