The United States Government has on Tuesday in Abuja declined sponsorship of the nationwide census to be embarked upon by the country.
Although the population census which was originally billed for this year has been shifted to 2017 based on shortage of funds, the National Population Commission has made indications known that it may not hold as the President, Muhammadu Buhari is yet to address the issue.
The American government was quoted to have declined sponsorship of the census claiming “it is not somebody else’s census, it is your census.”
The possible sourcing of financial assistance from the United States was ruled out by the Office Director, Health Population and Nutrition Office, United States Agency for International Development, Dr. Nancy Lowenthal, in an interview with The PUNCH.
She said, “It is important to stress that the United States government does not fund the census of another country. But what Nigerian government can do is to collaborate with USAID, the USCB and other US agencies that can help to provide a strong technical assistance to develop the best possible, credible and accurate census.
“It is very important for the Nigerian government at all levels to recognise what a census does. It is a demographic information about your country: how many men, how many women, and how many children are in Nigeria. There are also information about household income and other aspects of demography in a census. Without a credible census in every single community, you cannot have a data. This is fundamental to governing your country. It is, therefore, fundamental to government to find the resources to finance its census.
“It is important for any government to be able to fund its census because without it, you will not be able to do other components. It is not apportioning the Federal Government with funding, this is real planning; the commissioners should know the type of vaccine coverage and how many children are out there. It is not somebody else’s census but the census of the government of Nigeria as represented by Mr. President through the chairman of the NPC down thorough all the structures in the federal, states, local governments and rural levels and it is your census.”