Nigeria is to conduct its Population and Housing Census latest by April 2023.

The Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, announced this Thursday after the Council of State meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said the pilot census would be conducted in June this year immediately after the political parties had completed their primary elections to produce candidates for 2023 general elections.

Isa-Kwarra said: “It is very crucial because I have highlighted that the Census is a very important exercise for the nation. Because through census we generate the data that we use for policy making, for planning, for development, by the three tiers of government, and the private sector, they all need this.

“If you are a private sector, you’re producing something, certainly, you need to know the population of an area if you want to create a market there. So, census data is very crucial, very important. Because, the data we’ve been using are just projections, estimation. And are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning.”

The Governor of Jigawa State, who briefed on efforts to sustain food security, said the President would meet service chiefs on Tuesday to discuss the suggestions from governors and other stakeholders at the council of state meeting.

He said the President was concerned about food security.

Badaru said Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State who commended President Buhari and his counterparts from neighboring countries for joint operations foresaw an end to insurgency if the current operation was sustained.

He said the President promised to look at the proposals from the South East governors and Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, said 159 convicted Nigerians were granted pardon based on the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy.

He said the requests of three convicts were rejected in order not to condone malfeasance.

He said one of the three people whose requests were turned down was sentenced for 120 years over stealing and had only served for five months in prison.

Malami said the name of the convict was submitted as a result of ill health because of life threatening ailment, but the council rejected his inclusion for pardon because of the gravity of the offence.

Although he didn’t mention the name, a source close to the meeting said it was Francis Atuche, a former MD of Bank PHB.

The AGF said the next convict whose inclusion for presidential pardon was also rejected was convicted for offence of forgery and sentenced for 14 years in prison and has only spent one year and six months.

Malami said the third convict was sentenced seven years imprisonment for obtaining money by false pretence.

The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, said 434 Nigerians who distinguished themselves in the various field of endeavours had been shortlisted for National Honours Award, but added that the President would release the final list.

A minute silence was observed in honour of the former head of Interim government Ernest Shonekan who died on January 11, 2022.
This is the fourth time the President will chair the meeting earlier held on October 21, 2015; September 7, 2016 and August 2020.

The Council of State is an organ of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of advising the executive on policy matters.