The Republic of Benin will today, Monday, December 2, 2019 begin the census of her nationals all over Nigeria in compliance with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) treaty to guarantee their security in the host country.
Announcing this in Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Sunday, the Deputy General Secretary of Benin Government, Cyrille Govgbedji told journalists that the census exercise will be flagged off simultaneously in Abuja, FCT and Saki in the Oke Ogun area of Oyo State.
The census exercise will last three weeks, he stated.
On the objectives of the census, Govgbedji told newsmen that “the exercise is to make sure that any Beninoise national resident in Nigeria has ECOWAS Identity Card to guarantee his or her stay in accordance with the existing statute.”
In addition, he said, the Beninoise government wants to use the census to ensure how many of her nationals are resident outside the country to assist government in formulating her socioeconomic and budgetary planning.
Speaking further, he submitted that “it is also for security in compliance with the laws of the host country to accord genuine resident permit to stay,” a statement which observers perceived as an apparent compliance with part of the conditions laid down by Nigerian government to Benin Republic for reopening of the land borders closed since August this year.
The Deputy General Secretary of Benin Government explained that leadership of Beninoise cultural organisations and town unions in Nigeria have been mobilized to ensure effective sensitization of their members and ensure that they are well captured in the exercise by rallying them to participate effectively.
While informing Beninoise nationals in Nigeria that lots of benefits are derivable from the exercise, Govgbedji urged them to give all the necessary support to the census officials who have already arrived at their various designated centres in thec36 states of the country and the FCT.
Govgbedji who also commended Nigerian government for the collaboration in ensuring success of the census remarked that similar exercise will take place in Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast immediately after the Nigerian experience.