NPC to conduct National census in 2022… as lNEC Boss appeal for data of deceased Nigerians to clean up voters’ register

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By Joy Odor

The Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu has appealed to the Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra to periodically avail lNEC of the data of deceased Nigerians to enable it clean up the voters’ register.

Professor Mahmood Yakubu made the appeal when the Chairman of the National Population Commission and his delegation paid him a courtesy call in his Office on  Friday.

The lNEC Chairman told NPC Chairman to also avail them the list of prominent Nigerians who have passed on, civil and public servants compiled from the official records of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other Nigerians from hospital and funeral records across the country.

Professor Mahmood stressed that the information is critical for INEC to enhance the credibility of the National Register of Voters.

He said the idea is to enable INEC to easily delimit and periodically review Electoral Constituencies based on NPC’s figures whenever there is a new population census, saying it cannot be achieved without accurate population data.

The lNEC Chairman said this is partly why no constituencies have been delimited in Nigeria since the last exercise was carried out 25 years ago in 1996 by the defunct National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON).

“Therefore, I wish to once more appeal to the Chairman of the NPC, in your capacity as the registrar of births and deaths in Nigeria, to periodically avail us of the data of deceased Nigerians so that we can use the official information from your Commission to further clean up the voters’ register.

“Perhaps you may wish to start by availing us with the list of prominent Nigerians who have passed on, civil and public servants compiled from the official records of Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies and other Nigerians from hospital and funeral records across the country.

“We appreciate that this is a Herculean task but that is partly why we have a National Population Commission. We are confident that NPC has the capacity to do so.

“This information is critical for INEC to enhance the credibility of the National Register of Voters. On this note, it is my pleasure to once again welcome the Chairman and his team to INEC.

“We appreciate our collaboration and wish to reassure you that this partnership will continue. The idea is to enable INEC to easily delimit and periodically review Electoral Constituencies based on NPC’s figures whenever there is a new population census.

“This cannot be achieved without accurate population data. This is partly why no constituencies have been delimited in Nigeria since the last exercise was carried out 25 years ago in 1996 by the defunct National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON).

“We are determined to make a difference this time around, just as we solved the problem of voter access to Polling Units in Nigeria. We have already prepared and produced a Discussion Paper on Electoral Constituencies in Nigeria looking at the issues more broadly, including the imperative of a new population census. We will share copies of the Paper with the NPC at this meeting.

“The Commission is mandated to do so at an interval of not less than ten years or by reason of creation of States, pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly or in consequence of a population census in Nigeria.

“On the other hand, NPC is required, among its many responsibilities, to undertake the enumeration of the people of Nigeria periodically through census and to provide information and data on the country’s population to facilitate national planning and economic development” Prof Mahmood added.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Dr. Nasir Isa Kwarra confirmed that the Commission will officially conduct National census in 2022 as soon as President Muhammadu Buhari give the official nod after sixteen years to the last census.

According to him, the 2022 national census would be conducted electronically.

He noted that NPC have been demarcating the land scope of the Nation since 2014, saying by the end of October, it would complete the demarcations of all the local government areas of the country.

Alhaji Kwarra assured to continue to engage lNEC with other sister agencies of it’s activities to cement tye already existing cordial relationship.

In an interview with the Commissioner in charge of Public Affairs Committee of NPC in Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulmalik Mohammed Dogowa maintained that NPC is taken w holistic approach to ensure the 2022 census is conducted in acceptable and ICT based compliance.

According to him, Kaduna State is not acception in all the arrangements but doing their best tirelessly, saying  the Commission is waiting for official order from President Buhair to kick off credible census.

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