Nigeria has approved ₦2.8 billion ($6.8 million) for a digital census, originally scheduled for March 29 but postponed to May 2023 due to the rescheduled gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections to be held on Saturday, March 18th 2023.
The Nigerian government said the fund will be used to procure software for the National Population Commission to carry out the census digitally using mobile handheld devices, geographic information systems, and satellite imagery.
The exercise, scheduled to take place between 29 March and 2 April across the country's 774 local government areas, is expected to cost a total of ₦869 billion ($1.88 billion).
However, Nigeria's allocation of $1.88 billion for its first digital census, covering an estimated population of 206 million, is more than twice the budget for India's census of $470 million with over a billion people.
A Techloy analysis also shows that Nigeria's budget for its digital census surpasses the budgets of countries with comparable populations, such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Pakistan.
Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, provided a breakdown, stating that ₦626 billion ($1.36 billion) will be for the census at $6 per capita, while ₦243 billion ($527 million) will be for post-census activities until 2025.
The government has already committed ₦291.5 billion ($632 million) of the total funding needed, representing 46% of the exercise's cost and is currently looking towards development partners and the private sector to raise the remaining amount.