2021 Census: Reps ask FG to postpone exercise over insecurity

The House of Representatives has called for the postponement of the 2021 population and housing census being planned by the National Population Commission.

It said at its plenary on Wednesday that the country was unsafe for the exercise in view of the rising insecurity in Nigeria.

The House, presided over by the Speaker, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, advised the Federal Government to suspend the exercise till such a time the country was safe enough for it.

The resolution of the House was passed following a motion moved by a member representing Bosso/Paikoro Federal Constituency of Niger State, Rep. Shehu Beji.

Leading the debate on the motion, the lawmaker told the House that several factors would work against the accuracy of the figures that would be obtained and the overall success of the exercise due largely to insecurity.

For instance, Beji said, the safety of enumerators would not be guaranteed in many parts of the country.

He also stated that many households would be unwilling to make family members available for enumeration because of the fear of the unknown.

He added that it would be unwise in the prevailing circumstances to post enumerators to some parts of the country currently considered to be volatile.

Beji argued that the fact that many locations would not be reached by enumerators was enough a reason to suspend the planned exercise.

The key prayer of his motion urged the House to “call on the Federal Government to suspend the exercise until the security of the country stabilises.”The prayer was endorsed by the House in a majority voice vote.

The House also invited the Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, to explain the feasibility of conducting a population and housing census in the country amid the current security challenges.

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