The United States Government has said that US will not offer any financial assistance to Nigeria for the national census scheduled for 2017.
The census was initially billed for 2016 but was moved to 2017 due to lack of resources to fund the census.
The Office Director, Health Population and Nutrition Office, United States Agency for International Development, Nancy Lowenthal, made this known during a workshop organized for staff of the National Population Commission in Abuja.
She said; “It is important to stress that the United States government does not fund the census of another country,” she said. “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.”
The President Buhari-led federal government is yet to make any official proclamation on the census.