NPC to conduct 2023 census digitally, appeals to Nigerians to participate in the excercise

Honorable Federal Commissioner, National population Commission, Hon. Ejike Eze has urged Nigerians to participate in the upcoming National population and housing census ,noting that the exercise will be done digitally and the data generated will greatly assist in governance and the socio-economic planning and development of the country.

He made the call on Wednesday, July 5,2023, at a One -Day public symposium organized by the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nigeria Enugu campus in collaboration with the National Population Commission, Enugu at the CBN auditorium, UNEC,Enugu .

Pix- L-Hon Eze, R-Prof Nwachukwu

Eze who spoke on the Theme: “An -upcoming 2023 population and housing census: Methodology and processes”, assured that the “commission is irrevocably committed to positively rewrite the history of census in Nigeria and deliver to this great nation accurate, reliable and acceptable census that will be used in the drive towards sustainable national development.

He said the census will be done digitally, and that the data analysis will be done centrally , assuring that the data will be accurate. He appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with the commission, noting that “our population remains our greatest asset in national development and it must be harnessed inorder to make life worth living for our people.”

Honorable Ezeh appealed to the Institute of Development Studies to assist the Commission in the areas of sensitization and mobilization of Nigerians for active participation in the census process through symposium, carrying out high level advocacy and support for the census , especially within academic circle, amplifying the development essence of the census process and outcomes as a development planning tool among others .

Pix- R-L, Okoli, Hon. Ezeh, Prof Nwachukwu

The Honorable Commissioner assured that adequate security will be put in place during the Census period . According to him , ethnicity and religion, which are variables that form part of the social demographic characteristics canvassed will not be included in the 2023 Census questionnaire. ” The decision to exclude ethnicity and religion from the census questionnaire was taken in due consideration of the sensitive nature of these issues within the Nigerian polity and the need to save the census data from needless controversies and attention”, he said.

On budget, Hon.Eze said that the “Commission was mindful of the need to deliver a world class census at the lowest possible cost, bring the first time Nigeria will be conducting a digital census , infrastructure, facilities, including training of skilled manpower would have to be done from the scratch. A geo-referenced enumeration frame, which will only need to be updated in future ,would have to be built. Equipment, especially Personal Digital Assistant would have to be procured and IT infrastructure to support the real time transmission of data would have to be put in place ..enormous innovation has been committed to theses innovations”, he said.

Pix- Participants,R(front) PRO,NPC

The Federal Commissioner said that Nigeria had one of the fastest growing population, with a growth rate of 3.2% and an estimate population of 216million, lamenting that the country did not carry out population census for 17years, which has created an information vaccum ‘as the data ft the last census in 2016 has been less useful for planning”.

On the process for the 2023 census, he said that the demarcation exercise of all the local government areas in the country began in 2013, mapping and enumeration area demarcation(EAD). Presently, the Commission has demarcated 774 local government areas in the country, census questionnaire has been developed.

He added that the questions to be canvassed in the next population and housing include, demographic and social characteristics, birth registration, , orphanhood, literacy, educational characteristics, marital status, nationality, ( including place of birth and State of origin ), migration difficulty in peforming activies, economic characteristic, Information Communication Technology , fertility and child survival, mortality, household characteristics including sanitation

The Honorable Commissioner said that pre-tests, trial census were done
“The pretest was conducted between 31 May ,2021 and 13June,2021 in the 36states of the federation including Federal Capital territory. The second pretest was conducted from November 24th to to December 10,2921 in randomly sampled 444 EAs in the 36 states of the federation and FCT. ” The conduct of the two pre-tests was largely hitch free”, Ezeh said.

Declaring the symposium open, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Professor Dan Nwachukwu, stressed the importance of population and housing census. He said it is used for planning for development . He called on Nigerians to participate in the exercise.

Earlier, the Director IDEAS ,institute in Development Studies,Professor Chuke Nwude, said the symposium was
was expected to provide explanation on audit ,critical system that will guide the coming census. He urged Nigerians to participate actively during the census because they want to get it right this time.

Enugu state Director,National Population Commission, Odinaka Okoli, in a brief remark appealed to Nigerians to
be part of the 2023 census, noting that,”we must get it right this time”.

Author: Maureen Ikpeama

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