The National Population Commission (NPC) has clarified that there would be no public holiday during the forthcoming census slated to hold between May 3 and 7, 2023.
It is understood that the spokesperson for the NPC, Isiaka Yahaya, confirmed the development in a chat with The Punch on Friday.
According to him, there won’t be any holiday during the exercise, but there might be a restriction of movement during the exercise.
Yahaya said the reason there won’t be any holiday is that usually, people do not stay at home during holidays.
He said “There won’t be a public holiday, because during public holidays people can move from one place to another, but there may be restrictions on movement, based on past experiences. However, I can’t confirm that now. The government will come out with a categorical statement on that.
“Foreigners will be counted as long as they are in Nigeria. Everybody on the land space of Nigeria will be counted. If you look at the definition of Census, it is the enumeration of all persons. It did not say, only citizens. So, everyone resident in the country during the census period will be counted.
There will be a section that will ask if you are a foreigner or not and the country they are from. It is part of the data to be collected, so it is not separate.”
Yahaya denied claims that anyone who refuses to present themselves for the exercise would be sanctioned.
He added: “It is a rumor that people who refuse to be counted will be sanctioned. All I know is that we have encouraged all Nigerians to make themselves available for counting because the exercise is in the national interest. There are actually offences that we do not want to emphasize, but we do not have the power and capacity to lock anyone up.”
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