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The Economist and Chief Executive Officer of CFG Advisory, Tilewa Adebajo stated that the issue of Census before an election year is very volatile.
Mr. Adebajo said this in an interview on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City105.1 on Saturday.
The subject of Population Census has been a discourse since the last population and housing census in Nigeria took place in 2006.
When there was a clamour by some groups for Census to be conducted in 2018, the Speak of the 8th National Assembly, Hon Yakubu Dogara, stated categorically that Census close to an election year, would make some politicians hijack the process that would determine the outcome of the results, rather than the actual figures.
In a recent development, Mr. Adebajo argues that the Population Census process in Nigeria has been politized and a lot of people has lost confidence in the system.
According to him, “If you try to do a census now, everybody is going to scream bloody murder, because they will feel that you are going to use the census result to try to influence the elections next year.”
He said, “the National Population Commission will tell you that they are ready to conduct a census, but there is no political will to go ahead to conduct the census because some people feel that it might not favour them.
With references from the amount of mobile telephone penetration, voter register, and National Identity Management system, mentioned by Mr. Adebanjo to give an overview of Nigeria population estimate; he said, “the amount of mobile telephone penetration could give an idea of what the population in Nigeria looks like.
“The National Identity Management System, again a lot of people do not have confidence in that system.
“The voter register; but over the last 15 years you will see a situation whereby the vote register has shifted from the large population from the Southwest to the North, which is currently the largest within the last 10 years.
“People are concerned about how this has been manipulated and if you don’t know your population, you can’t plan all the social infrastructure that a teaming population requires, you need to know the numbers so that you understand your demography, so that you can plan properly.
When fielded with questions concerning the launch by the President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, 3rd February, 2022, on the Revised National Policy on Population for Sustainable Development, stressing the need for urgent measures to address Nigeria’s high fertility rate, through expanding access to modern contraceptive methods across the country and the National Council on Population Management inaugurated by President Buhari, chaired by Mr. President, and the Vice President as the deputy chairman with Heads of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies as members.
Mr. Adebajo replied: “The Nigeria population has become a liability.
“They have recognized those issues, they have brought it up, so it’s now a situation where we talk about policy flip-flops, and consistency in government.
“It is important that we do not only set up these policies, but it’s important that we are consistent with the policies. If we need to enact a legislation to back those policies let’s do but we can borrow some from the Chinese model and the Indian model.
“It’s not only important that we plan, but it is also important that we move ourselves from western conspiracies on Population control,” he said.
Mr. Adebajo further speaking, said that “The first step to put in place population control, we need to put in place a credible census for Nigeria.
“The strategy for one part of the country is different from another part of the country.
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.”
Feedback during the interview via WhatsApp by Abdul Kayode from Ajangbadi in Lagos, he said, “a country without database of its citizens, should not bother to consider population control measures.
“For God’s sake, we don’t have a record of the numbers of people going and coming into the country through our land borders. How do you preach to a Hausa man who has four wives, not to produce kids?
The Public Communication and business strategy consultant, Dr Okechukwu Ikechukwu has said that the disposition of the National Assembly will open a new vista of controversies that will call things up between now and 2023.
Dr Okechukwu said this on Saturday, as a guest on CityTalks with Reuben Abati.
Recall ahead of the 2019 general election the President refuse to assent to the electoral act amendment bill three times.
On the 16th of July, Day 2 of the big issue about the electoral act amendment bill, Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, led the PDP caucus out of the chamber on Thursday afternoon.
Elumelu raised an objection on the decision to consider clause 52 alongside other clauses despite the fact that a decision had not be arrived at.
He argued that the opposition lawmakers would not sit and watch as their concerns were being ignored.
Dr Okey reacting to the melodrama characterized around the electoral amendment bill, described it as power-politics.
According to him, he listed three perspectives to it. Namely:
- The reputation of the National Assembly
- The electoral act as part of the crisis of the political leadership
- The decision of the National Assembly and the impact.
He said, “The Primary issue on the table is that if anybody at any point was in doubt whether the Representatives are actually representing Nigerians, the conduct of the Senators cleared that doubt.
“Did the Senators consult their constituents, in order words, those who sent them to National Assembly, and can they therefore be said that they are saying what the people who sent them to say? The answer is no.
“The processes leading up to that decision, did it and does it suggest that there was some backroom scheming going on? The answer is yes.”
Dr Okechukwu opines that the disposition of the lawmakers on the electoral act amendment bill discredits the leadership of the National Assembly and also reveals that the lawmakers are primarily committed to whatever agreements they make in Abuja pertaining their political survival rather than the Nigerian States.
When fielded questions about the logic behind the vote by those who voted for or against, he said, “I believe that this decision of the National Assembly has only thrown open a new vista of perception and controversies that are likely to call a lot of things between now and 2023. Both for the ruling party and the political elite generally.
“The outcome of that voting, that decision of that bill is not attributed to any particular party it, cut across party lines.
“It tells you that there are some interests other than national interest, other than electoral purity, other than national service that is behind the content and form of the bill they passed.”
Dr okechukwu said that he shares the same view with persons saying that within the purview of section 78 of the 1999 constitution that what the national assembly is proposing is unconstitutional and illegal.
The National Assembly has approved a N4.87bn budget for the National Intelligence Agency to track, intercept and monitor calls and messages on mobile devices, including Thuraya and WhatsApp.
The amount is part of the N895.8bn supplementary budget submitted by the President Muhammadu Buhari , last month and approved by both chambers of the federal parliament last week after increasing it by about N87bn.
The budget according to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Barau Jibrin, is meant to procure equipment for the military and to fight further spread of COVID-19.
Details of the supplementary budget obtained by our correspondent revealed that the NIA would spend N2,938,650,000 on the Thuraya interception solution, while the WhatsApp interception solution would gulp N1, 931,700,000.
Apart from this, the NIA got additional N129m to enable its personnel embark on foreign training.
The Defence Intelligence Agency, on its part, got a capital vote of N16.8bn to provide infrastructure, cyber intelligence centre/laboratory, independent lawful intercept platform (voice and advanced data monitoring) and tactical mobile geological platform.
Out of the N33.6bn approved for the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs as recurrent expenditure, the sum of N200m has been set aside to fumigate 19 police training institutes across the country.
The sum of N4.1bn was set aside for the feeding of trainees, while their allowances and salaries would gulp N910m.
Teaching allowances for training and support staff was put at N257m, while monitoring and evaluation of training would gulp N582m.
The Nigeria Police Force will also spend N2.2bn on other logistics and consumables.
In its capital component, the Federal Ministry of Police Affairs will spend N8.5bn to procure ballistic helmets, bulletproof vests and utility vehicles.
The Police Affairs ministry also got N22.5bn vote to procure drones, ammunition, discreet intelligence equipment and other requirements.
The Defence Headquarters got N3.7bn to take care of additional 2,700 troops and execute the Cimic Quick Impact project, among others.
The Nigerian Army headquarters got a total N 1.590bn as ration cash allowance/operation allowances, petroleum oil lubricants, contingency, monitoring and training, among others.
The capital vote of the Army headquarters is put at N207bn to buy arms, ammunition, vehicles, surveillance equipment, body armour/protection and all classes of tyres, among other equipment.
The breakdown of the supplementary budget further showed that the Nigerian Navy got N5.9bn to fuel capital ships and Helo.
The Nigerian Navy, however, got a capital vote of N157.7bn to procure vehicles, arms, ammunition, power supply, general hardware, body armour/protection, surveillance equipment and other requirements.
The Nigerian Air Force, on its part, got N8.2bn to carry out aircraft maintenance, fuelling and construction of airfield facilities, among others.
It also got a capital vote of N239bn to buy additional aircraft, arms, rehabilitation of barracks, special vehicles and others.
The Defence Space Administration got a capital vote of N43.3bn to provide satellite imaging, cyber security, tracking equipment, drones, infrastructure and vehicles.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps got a capital vote of N14.8bn to purchase vehicles, communication equipment, arms and ammunition, among others.
The Office of the National Security Adviser got N17bn to complete its counter terrorism centre