Nigerian NPC chairman looks to consolidate biometric collection efforts, says those not captured in the next census no longer Nigerian citizens

November 30, 2012 - 

The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) in Nigeria has said any Nigerian who is not captured in the next demographic survey beginning next year will not be recognized as a citizen of Nigeria after the 2016 national population census.

The NPC chairman, Festus Odimegwu’s comments have not gone uncriticized. As Allafrica reports, many high ranking officials have dismissed the chairman’s comments, suggesting the statement must have been an error.

Odimegwu said that the roughly US $4 billion (N600 billion) needed to conduct the demographic survey, which looks to capture biometric data over five years, would be generated by the NPC from the sale of data to the private sector if the government cannot provide it, This Day Live reports. Also, the chairman said religion and ethnicity would be included in the 2016 census, as both had been previously excluded.

“You have to know religion and ethnic numbers for the country to work. […] We will raise money from the sale of data to the private sector to run the agency. The database will help in national planning,” Odimegwu said.

According to the This Day Live report, the chairman also said that having an effective demographic system with biometric information would help ameliorate many of the problems faced by the country today.

Additionally, Odimegwu suggested that any other government agencies who have been collecting biometric data will pool that information with the NPC for the census project.

This news comes shortly after the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Nigeria announced a proposal to register 100 million Nigerians in a biometric database. As reported previously in BiometricUpdate, this proposed project would require all Nigerians who are 16 years old and above to participate.

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