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FG to include religion, ethnicity, others in 2018 census

NPC to capture biometrics to eliminate manipulation

From Fred Itua, Abuja and Ali Abare, Gombe

The Federal Government has said new census by the National Population Commission (NPC) will include religion and ethnicity. ‎

Religion and ethnicity were excluded from the 2006 national population census.

Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, ahead of the Phase 3 Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), NPC Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma (SAN), however, hinged conduct of the exercise on a presidential proclamation and funding, which he said are very critical to the conduct of the 2018 census exercise.

The NPC said it needs N200 billion for next year’s census.

”When we make commitment on improving on what might have happened in the past, some of these things (ethnicity, religion) are what we mean. I am not saying that anything went terribly bad in the past, because I was not here, so, I don’t even know what happened. But, whatever we produce after this census we contemplate will be accepted by Nigerians. That should be the test.

“Those things that ought to be there, namely, religion and ethnicity, we want Nigerians to be involved. The assurance I gave is those things will not be left out in the census,” the chairman said.

He said the federal government’s plan to conduct the national census in 2018 may be in jeopardy as President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to issue a proclamation. he also cited funding as a major obstacle.

Meanwhile, the NPC has said it will employ the use of biometrics in the 2018 census aimed at eliminating manipulation during the process.

NPC Federal Commissioner, Mohammed Bala Magaji disclosed this, yesterday, when he spoke with newsmen in Gombe, on the third phase of the enumeration area demarcation which took place in Billiri local government of the state.

Magaji said during the census, the biometrics would capture the facial impression and finger prints of persons, with any hope of gaining advantage through manipulation of enumeration areas an illusion that cannot be realised as only persons physically seen will be counted.

“High resolution satellite imagery will be used to ensure that no area is left not demarcated and no place duplicated, while the methodology being adopted will not allow for the creation of imaginary enumeration areas, and any attempt to include non-existent household and buildings in the EAs will be detected through satellite,” he warned.

 

 

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