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17 years after, Nigeria to conduct population census after 2023 elections

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Seventeen years after its last population census, the Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday said it may carry out a national census that is designed to produce not only an accurate, reliable, and acceptable census after the next general elections scheduled to hold in February and March 2023.

The director-general of the Nigeria Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa-Kwara, made the disclosure at the end of the Council of State meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Isa-Kwara revealed that the pilot census will be conducted in June by the National Population Commission after political parties have held their primary elections.

The last census was held in August 2006 but the NPC has said it is targeting to carry out the next one in April 2023.

The commission also said it has successfully completed the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in the 772 LGAs out of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria as well as the 1st and 2nd Census Pretest in the selected Enumeration Areas in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory in preparation for the 2022 Census with the outcomes of these preparatory activities re-assuring that the Commission is on course in its mission to deliver a credible and reliable census.

The NPC boss said “through the census, we generate the data that we use for policymaking, for planning, for development, by the three tiers of government, and the private sector, they all need this.

Speaking further on the importance of the population census, Isa-Kwarra stressed that census figures will also benefit the private sector.

“If you are in the 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, and estimation and are sort of obsolete, we need the actual census data to use for our planning. “

Censuses are controversial in Nigeria because rival ethnic and religious groups have in the past tried to use them to assert their numerical superiority and claim a larger share of oil revenues and political representation.

The World Bank estimates Nigeria’s population will overtake that of the United States by 2050 to reach almost 400 million.

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Two Liberian Maritime officials arrested for alleged rape in South Korea while on seminar

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Two top Liberian Maritime Authorities staff who were in South Korea for a seminar were on Saturday, arrested and detained by the Asian country’s police for allegedly raping two teenage girls.

The suspects identified as Moses Owen Browne and Daniel Tarr, were arrested at a hotel in the southeastern city of Busan after a friend of the victims reported the case to the police, the Busan police said in a statement.

Browne, Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and Tarr, a Director of the Department of Marine Environmental Protection at the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), were in South Korea on a government mission to the IMO, which means they were representing the West African country at the programme.

According to a statement on the LiMA website condemning the incident, the officials were in South Korea attending the “International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG SMART Practical Training and Study Visit” when this alleged incident occurred.

“LiMA unequivocally maintains a zero-tolerance stance on any types of sexual and gender-based offenses, and views these allegations of the conduct of its Officials as most egregious, having no place in any civilized society.

“Liberia Maritime Authority will fully cooperate with the Government of the Republic of South Korea in the investigation of this incident and vows to take appropriate actions, under national and international Law,” the statement read.

The South Korean police said it plans to seek formal arrest warrants for the two men which would allow them to hold the suspects in custody for up to 10 days before charging them to court.

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Interim Malian PM accuses France of stabbing country in the back following withdrawal of troops

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Interim Mali’s Prime Minister, Abdoulaye Idrissa Maïga, has accused its former colonial masters, France, of “stabbing” the West African country in the back following the withdrawal of the European country’s military in August.

Maïga who addressed the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) holding in New York on Saturday, criticised France for taking a “hasty” decision by withdrawing its troops from the country which is still battling to contain the incursions of jihadist militants and terrorists.

“The world will remember that, after being abandoned in mid-air on 10 June 2021 by France’s unilateral decision to withdraw the Barkhane force from Mali, my country was then stabbed in the back by the French authorities,” Maïga said.

“In view of the seriousness of the acts committed by the French, Mali, in its letter dated 15 August 2022, requested an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

“The purpose of this meeting is to allow Mali to present the evidence in its possession, demonstrating that the French army has repeatedly attacked my country.

“I would like to say that the Malian people have decided to take their destiny into their own hands. They fully support the government in rebuilding Mali and in returning to a peaceful and secure constitutional order in March 2024, following free, transparent and credible elections,” the Interim PM added.

France had withdrawn its troops from Mali following several accusations by the Malian government against members of its forces including extrajudicial killings, after its first military intervention in 2013, leading an effort to oust Islamic extremists from taking control of northern Malian towns.

The withdrawal of the French troops ended its nine years presence in the country in a bid to stabilise the country amid repeated attacks by insurgents.

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