Stakeholders raise the alarm over 2023 census

stakeholders raise the alarm over 2023 census

Some stakeholders have asked the Federal Executive Council to look into what they describe as “poor arrangements”  being made by the National Population Commission concerning procurement of important equipment needed for the national census holding in 2023.

The concerned stakeholders, including partners of the commission, workers and civil society groups, in a statement on Tuesday, alleged that the way the commission was planning to procure equipment for the national exercise could jeopardise the success of the assignment.

They claimed the supply of very important materials had been given to five companies belonging to the same person, saying this could make the exercise to flop and waste the huge resources the government had committed to it.

According to them, it will be a huge disaster if Nigeria fails to get it right this time around, saying government must do everything to stop the project from failing.

They said the leadership of the commission was set to present five companies to the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday as those approved for the procurement of equipment for the exercise.

The stakeholders claimed that all the companies belong to just one person, saying this had heightened the concern of the workers and partners of the commission for the success of the exercise.

According to them, the plan is not only unsafe for an exercise as important as a national census, but also not morally right as many other companies have been deemed to have qualified for the project.

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The statement read, “The contract with the project title: ‘Supply of PDA Tablets, Chargers, Power Banks, SD Cards and Tablet Pouch for Data Collection Exercise in the Coming 2023 National Population Census’ is worth about N300 billion. For there to be a safety net in the case of malfunction, various companies were approved to supply these equipment. However, we got it on good authority that this has been changed and all the contracts have been given to just one company.

“The worrying aspect of the whole drama is that stakeholders found out that all the five companies that would be presented before the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday are all from the same individual. This isn’t safe. It is unhealthy for this very important  exercise.

“This is the kind of mistake that scuttled efforts to produce a proper National Identity Card for Nigerians. We should not be retrogressing in matters like this in this modern era.”

Although the concerned stakeholders lauded the NPC for sticking with indigenous Nigerian companies to procure the equipment for the exercise, they frowned on choosing companies belonging to one person which they claimed had a reputation for not working to specification.

“The government must urgently look into this and seek a proper way of straightening these issues out before they are too late.

“We observed with great dismay and sadness that the company with the lowest reputation among those in line for the award of the contract had been put forward. It is the same company that had forwarded five other names as different companies. This is not proper, and it is a prelude to a disastrous outing for the NPC and cause the government serious embarrassment.”

stakeholders raise the alarm over 2023 census
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