The Chairman of the National Population Commission, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra, has revealed that conducting a census in 2023 would cost the country N532.7 billion.

He made the revelation while defending the agency’s 2023 budget before the Senate Committee on National Population and Identity Management on Wednesday in Abuja.

The NPC boss, who appeared with his management team, stated that the money was solely for the conduct of the 2023 census, which he said would be done digitally.

“In addition to the N10 billion budgetary proposal for the fiscal year 2023 earmarked for NPC, a total of N532.795,604, 726 billion is estimated for the conduct of the 2023 Census,” he said.

In the midst of high insecurity and difficult-to-reach terrains in some states across the country, the NPC boss insisted that the Commission was ready to rewrite the history of census in Nigeria by ensuring credibility, accuracy, and a reliable head count.

“The proposed sum for the conduct of the 2023 census includes a post-enumeration survey, and the exercise will be a significant departure from the past in terms of addressing the issue of climate change,” he said.

Kwarra stated in the agency’s budgetary proposal for 2023 that N1.05 billion was set aside for capital expenditure, N655 million for overhead, and N8.6 billion for personnel.

The NPC boss stated that a total of N206.85 billion was appropriated for the commission for the fiscal year 2022, with N107.7 billion earmarked for capital expenditure, N615 million for overhead, and N7.8 billion for personnel costs.

Senator Sahabi Ya’u, Chairman of the Committee, instructed the NPC boss to provide the committee with details of projects completed with the 2022 appropriation and those proposed for the 2023 fiscal year.

The NPC boss’s request to designate the Chairman and members of the committee as 2023 Census ambassadors at the start of the session was denied.

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