As National Population Commission Gears -up For Census

As National Population Commission Gears -up For Census

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the National Population Commission, NPC, is set for the National Housing, Area demarcation and Population Census scheduled for 2023. Coming shortly after the general elections, it would be a crowded season for the entire country.

Adhoc staffs have been recruited according to the NPC to commence a trial census across the country after an effort that has been described as painstaking. It was stated by the commission that it needed persons whose integrity was impeccable during this and census proper, hence it sieved through several hundreds of thousands of applications to arrive at the current officials recruited for the exercise which commences this month.

A total of 13,500 field functionaries are to conduct a trial census in 7,468 enumeration areas, the NPC has said.

There are reports that the trial census would cover the 36 states of the federation and the FCT and this is going to be taking place simultaneously across the federation.

It was also learnt that six local government areas would be selected from a state in each of the six geo-political zones for full population enumeration.

Forty-five Enumeration Areas, EAs would come from the remaining 30 states and the FCT. In total, 7,468 EAs have been selected for this trial census to test run their suitability and readiness for the actual census, an official of the NPC was quoted as saying.

As part of the process, the training of the principal trainers, who are mostly academics and NPC’s staff, has been achieved ahead of 2023.

NPC will use a total of 13,500 field functionaries comprising 11,510 enumerators, 1,529 supervisors and 823 facilitators for the trial census.

“The quality of the personnel for the census has a great impact on its outcome. “The need to properly train the facilitators who will in turn train the supervisors and the enumerators at the state level cannot be overemphasised”, NPC stressed.

We cannot over-emphasise the importance of population and housing census in our country, especially that it is crucial for effective national planning and other strategic purposes. It is on that note that we applaud the NPC for its efforts at achieving this goal come 2023.

It was expected that the NPC conducted a census in 2016, 10 years after the last one but it may have been bogged by bureaucratic bottlenecks and sundry concerns.

It is therefore a landmark if it has eventually put behind those encumbrances to face the task squarely.
We are aware that the Federal Government has also been meeting its side of the ‘bargain’ to ensure that the process succeeds without less untoward outcomes. It is therefore impressive that the FG kept to its promise to ensure a headcount takes place after all. The effort is commendable even though coming belatedly.

There is the need to caution against unnecessary politicising the census process which should be done without recourse to primordial sentiments. Many are already thinking of shifting base from their present locations to their country homes for the purpose of getting counted. Like, the NPC has cautioned often, it is a needless but costly move which adds no value to the process. The place of one’s residence is just enough to get into the database which captures other details that going back home would have provided. These include state of origin, hometown, and local government.

We call on the NPC to be judicious in handling the task ahead to avoid the pitfalls of the past where several lapses characterized past experiences, thus leading to a negative consequence which puts to question the veracity of the final figures.

We urge both adhoc and permanent staff of the NPC to exhibit the utmost sense of patriotism in handling the census project, given its unquantifiable national interest.

We call on all Nigerians to consider it a civic duty for they must not only be seen being counted but must also in small measures foster the process by playing unofficial roles through encouraging friends, children and wards to embrace the process. The population census is key to achieving national planning and consequently overall development.

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