2022 Census: Group back Senator Adeyemi, others’ concern over cost

Charges FG to fix insecurity, others first

Following the N400 bn budget proposal by the National Population Commission, (NPC), over the proposed 2022 National Census, and the objection raised by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, among other concerned Nigerians, the Human & Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA) Resource Centre, has joined forces with the Senator to raise eyebrows not only on the jumbo budget but on the rationale for conducting the census at this precarious time in the history of Nigeria.

In a telephone interview, the Chairman of HEDA, Suraj Olarenwaju, affirmed that though collection and collation of data are very essential for planning, decision making and policy-making, he pointed out that other exigencies are begging for attention in the country today, and therefore, conducting census at this critical time was not the best thing to do if Nigeria must come out from the woods.

According to him, it would be precarious to ignore the warning which the Army Chief gave recently about the security situation in the country, whereby he (COAS) envisaged that the military would have more security challenges in 2022 going forward.

‘We must be alive and safe before we come out to be counted. If the NPC goes on to conduct this census, many people would be omitted, because not all nooks and crannies would be reached by its officers. We should first make the country safe for living before we talk about the census”.

Olarenwaju stressed that the most important and urgent needs must be met first before other necessities are attended to, noting that the major, urgent and most important things must be attended to before the minor ones.

“If we have such an amount of money for the census alone, why not deploy it into some some other projects with a sure hope of greater returns both in the short and long-run?

“We have unemployment challenges, infrastructural deficits, among others, which are telling on Nigerians adversely; we need to tell ourselves the truth and do the right things at the right time and place with the right resources, with the right motive and achieve the right results”, he emphasised.

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