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JUST IN……Group flays Dogara over proposed 2018 Census



NASSThe Muslim Media Watch Group of Nigeria, (NMMWG), has disagreed with the Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon. Yakubu Dogara, over the call for the postponement of the National Census scheduled to hold next year.

ROYAL NEWS reports that Hon. Dogara had said: “holding Census a year to the General Election would be burden-some and would be too hectic for the stakeholders to handle.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday by its National Coordinator, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, MMWGN disagrees with the suggestion for many reasons.

According to the statement, “One of them is the fact that the census was being postponed too frequently either for lack of funds or inability of the National Population Commission (NPC) to finish the spade work that was necessary such as Enumeration Area (E.A.) demarcation e.t.c.

“Secondly, Election is different from census with each of them having Statutory Bodies handling them. While INEC is responsible for election, Census is the responsibility of NPC.

“Thirdly, The Nation has budgeted for the 2018 Census in the 2017 Budget and work has been progressing on the Enumeration Areas as scheduled.”

The statement further added that, “It is therefore improper to postpone census endlessly especially when the issue of census is being suggested for 2019 after elections. Bearing in mind that nobody can predict situation after election, pushing it forward is more dangerous as incoming government might want to prioritize its activities differently.

“The vitality of census in planning and execution processes is so crucial that such a suggestion need not come from the Hon. Speaker but the operators especially The National Population Commission (NPC) that is directly in-charge.

“Politicians especially Top Government Functionaries should refrain from dabbling into statutory issues publicly instead of using the normal channels of communication that would not be misconstrued.

Therefore we suggest that the planning of 2018 census should continue and the programme should hold as scheduled. It should be noted that the Census was initially scheduled for 2014; it was later shifted to 2016 and later shifted to 2018.”

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