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POPULATION CENSUS: FG Targets April 2023

POPULATION CENSUS: FG Targets April 2023

…Approves Pardon For 159 Inmates, Rejects 3

The Federal Government has said that it was targeting to hold a national population census in April 2023 after the general election.

The chairman of the Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa-Kwarra, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Council of State meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday. According to him, the Commission is to conduct Pilot Census in June, 2022 after the political parties’ primary elections.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the last census exercise was held in August 2006. While disclosing that the commission will deploy high technology in the conduct of the national census, he said through census data is generated for planning, noting that the data currently being used are mere projections and obsolete. He said: “It is very crucial because I have highlighted that the Census is a very important exercise for the nation. Because through census we generate the data that we use for policymaking, planning, for development, the three tiers of government, and the private sector, all need this.

“If you are a private sector, you’re producing something; certainly, you need to know the population of an area if you want to create a market there. So census data is very crucial, very important. Because, the data we’ve been using are just projections, and estimation and are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning.“

On his part, Jigawa State governor, Abubakar Badaru, disclosed that Buhari will meet security chiefs on Tuesday next week over the worsening security situation following recommendations and comments by the council of state.

During his briefing, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the Council of State approved 159 out of 162 applications presented for consideration for the prerogative of mercy for convicts and inmates in correctional centers.

The Council, he said rejected the proposal to grant a pardon to one of the prisoners sentenced to 120 years for stealing over N25billion. The reason for seeking pardon was because of a life-threatening illness. The second person was convicted for forgery, sentenced to 14 years, and has stayed in prison for a year and six months. The third person was obtaining money by false pretense and was sentenced to seven years.

The Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, said the council approved the conferment of the National Honours Award on 434 Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in their various fields of endeavour.

Earlier, the meeting observed a minute silence in honour of the former head of Interim National Government, late Chief Ernest Shonekan, who died on January 11, 2022. This is the fourth time the President will preside over the meeting, with the first being held on October 21, 2015, the second on September 7, 2016, and the third was held virtually in August 2020. The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the executive on policy-making matters.

Members of the council include the President Vice President, past presidents, Senate President, House of Reps Speaker Chief Justice of Nigeria, serving and past. Others are the Attorney General of the Federation, all State Governors, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Those in attendance at the meeting were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the government of the Federation Boss Mustapha, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, and Chief of Staff to the President Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Former heads of state physically in attendance were Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar, and Goodluck Jonathan. Others attended the meeting virtually from their various locations. State governors in attendance are Hope Uzodinma (Imo), Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Atiku Bagudu(Kebbi), Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), Nasir El Rufai (Kaduna) amongst others. Other governors attended virtually.


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