BREAKING: Buhari Approves Indefinite Suspension of 2023 Census
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the forthcoming census.
The exercise was billed to take place across the country between May 3 and 5.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, announced the postponement in a statement issued on Saturday.
He said the new date for the census will be determined by the incoming administration.
“The President gave the approval after meeting with some members of the Federal Executive Council and the Chairman of the National Population Commission and his team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Friday (28 April 2023),” the statement reads.
“In arriving at the decision to postpone the Census, the meeting reiterated the critical need for the conduct of a Population and Housing Census, 17 years after the last Census, to collect up-to-date data that will drive the developmental goals of the country and improve the living standard of the Nigerian people.
“The President noted that with the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation of the country, conduct of first and second pretests, the recruitment and training of adhoc workers, procurement of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and ICT infrastructures, appreciable progress has been made in the implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
“He also commended the methodology being put in place by the Commission to conduct accurate and reliable Census, especially the massive deployment of technology that is capable of delivering world class Census and laying a sustainable basis for future censuses
“The President further directed the Commission to continue with preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in order to sustain the gains already recorded and provide the basis for the incoming administration to consolidate these achievements.”
On Friday, a federal high court in Abuja rejected an application seeking to halt the census.
Omotuyi Ademola had approached the court with an ex parte application seeking a postponement for six months.
He prayed the court to declare that the National Population Commission (NPC) is currently underfunded and therefore unprepared to conduct a credible, effective and constitutional census.
However, Inyang Ekwo, the presiding judge, refused to grant the motion ex parte and asked the applicant to put the defendant, the NPC, on notice.
Ekwo said the NPC should appear in court to show cause why the applicant’s motion should not be granted.
The matter was adjourned until May 5.
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