By Precious Adi
The House of Representative yesterday heard that it would cost N17bn for the National Population Commission to successfully conduct the 2016 population census.
Mr. Eze Duru Iheoma, the Chairman, NPC, disclosed the figure when he appeared before the House Committee on Population to defend the commission’s 2014 budget proposals.
Out of the sum, he said N10.7bn would be spent on Information Communication Technology centres in the 36 states of the federation and the opening of additional registration centres across the country.
Defending the census budget, Duru-Iheoma said, “Our state offices are on rent. We need to develop them and have them fully equipped with ICT.
“We suggested N5.7bn for this. We have the mandate to conduct the census in 2016, and we don’t intend to postpone it even by one day.”
However, the chairman complained that the Budget Office of the Federation approved only N203m from the N5.7bn sub-head.
Although, the NPC’s total budget for the year was N34.5bn, including the N17bn for the proposed census, Duru-Iheoma told the committee that the budget office slashed it to N6.2bn.
The acting Chairman of the committee, Mr. Abdulrazaq Nuhu-Zaki, promised that the lawmakers would find a way to assist the commission.
However, the committee demanded a detailed report on how the commission spent the N1.5bn approved for its capital projects in 2013.
But, Karibo merely announced that the budget of the State House had dropped by N2bn and called off the session.
The State House had proposed a budget of about N8.7bn to run the offices of the President and his deputy this year.
Out of the amount, N5bn was earmarked for recurrent expenditure, while capital projects took the balance of N3.7bn.
A breakdown of the recurrent expenditure showed that overhead cost would claim N3.5bn, while N1.5bn was voted for salaries/allowances of the workers.