Sunday, 10th December 2023

Scrap National Population Commission now, HURIWA tells Tinubu

By Fehintola Adewale, Abuja
08 July 2023   |   8:31 am
CIVIL rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Friday, asked President Bola Tinubu to scrap the National Population Commission

President Tinubu

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), on Friday, asked President Bola Tinubu to scrap the National Population Commission, describing the commission as a money-wasting agency duplicating the functions of other agencies.

Speaking through its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the Association tackled the NPC Chairman, Nasir Isa Kwarra, for pushing tirelessly for the already failed census, which has allegedly gulped N100 billion taxpayers’ money “without any economic advantage to Nigerians.”

The group went further to question the existence of the NPC when its responsibility was being performed by the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) through the registration of National Identification Number (NIN) for each individual and which is currently being linked to bank accounts, passports and even by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.

On Thursday, Kwarra told Nigerians that the President will announce new dates for Nigeria’s conduct of national population and housing census, saying that further delay in the conduct of the census will incur additional expenses.

The census earlier scheduled for May 3 to 7 by the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari was postponed to a date to be determined by the Tinubu administration.

Already, preparations for the exercise had gulped N100 billion out of the N200 billion earmarked for it.

Onwubiko said: “This so-called census is a money guzzling scheme that yields no national economic benefits but just a political gambit to justify fake and falsified population strength of some regions above others, and used for political and economic advantage.

“The National Population Census should be abolished through a constitutional amendment process so the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) and other data collection agencies be collapsed into one small presidential commission on national identity for identity management.

“Also, hospitals where births and deaths are recorded should be incorporated in the national identity management mechanism to determine the exact population of Nigeria.

“NPC is a waste and a duplication of what Nigeria already has achieved through the various registration of citizens carried out by different agencies including even the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Nigeria shouldn’t be investing public fund into a scheme that is just same as promoting a criminal empire.

“The President and the National Assembly should meet and set up a 10-person facts finding panel made up of statisticians and experts on population matters to hold public debate lasting a month and the bill passed into law by the National Assembly to amend the relevant section of the Constitution so Nigeria harmonizes all the identity data collection agencies of government into one simple and lean national commission so we don’t continue to duplicate identity of Nigerians which is same as population count.”