IPOB or no IPOB we’ll conduct 2023 census in southeast – NPC

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By Alex Enebeli

The National Population Commission (NPC) has said that presence of the Outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) would not prevent it from conducting the 2023 population and housing census in the troubled Southeastern region of Nigeria.

Federal Commissioner of NPC in Enugu State, Mr Ejike Eze, gave the assurance on Sunday in Enugu when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Eze said the group had sufficiently understood the need to allow residents to participate in the exercise to make it successful as doing otherwise would not help its cause.

He noted that the NPC had encounters with IPOB in two local government areas of Enugu State during the demarcation of the areas preparatory to the headcount, but the intervention by government resolved the issues.

“IPOB has on its own embarked on advocacy to encourage people to participate in the census.

“We have been able to engage IPOB to convince it that its agitation requires information that the census would provide,’’ Eze said.

He dismissed calls for a shift in the dates of the exercise and argued that census was not an election where there would be competitors, winners and losers.

Eze also dismissed claims that the N869 billion budgeted for the exercise was exorbitant and said it was the least when compared with the budgets of other countries.

“The U.S.A. spent between 12 dollars and 15 dollars (N5,760 –N7,200) to count a citizen, while Malawi spent nine dollars (N4,320) per citizen.

“In Nigeria, however, we are making a proposal to spend six dollars (N2,880) to count a citizen,” he explained.

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