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2023 Census: NPC leverages on media towards credible, acceptable census

By Fidelis Ebu, Abuja
28 October 2022   |   8:10 am
Executive Chairman National Population Commission (NPC), Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra said on Thursday in Abuja at the luncheon put together to appreciate the media that the Commission is on course in its mission of delivering the most credible and acceptable census in Nigeria’s history. Isa Kwarra also said the vital registration activity of the Commission…

Executive Chairman National Population Commission (NPC), Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra said on Thursday in Abuja at the luncheon put together to appreciate the media that the Commission is on course in its mission of delivering the most credible and acceptable census in Nigeria’s history.

Isa Kwarra also said the vital registration activity of the Commission has remarkably improved from about 30% coverage early last year to close to 70% at present, as he pointed out that a strategic partnership with the media will form the platform upon which the census architecture will stand to reach out to the Nigerian people.

“We intend to ensure full automation of the Electronic Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (E-CVRS) to all the States of the Federation.
It is against this backdrop that I urge our friends in the media to assist us intensify the campaign on the use of data for evidence-based planning in the country”, he said.

“While it may be true that we do not have all the required data for all aspects of our national life, it is self-evident that key data-generating agencies in the country are doing all that is humanly possible to generate enough, at least, that can guide purposeful and result-oriented planning for our distraught nation. I am very confident that our media have the capacity to revolutionize our attitude to data and its use in this country”.

He was deadpan when he said the Commission has successfully demarcated 773 LGAs in all the States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and that the demarcation of the remaining one LGA of Abadam (Borno State) which has not been demarcated as a result of security challenges will soon start. “The Commission has also conducted the first and the second census pre-test exercises as well as the Trial Census to test the census instruments and the Commission’s readiness in preparation for the 2023 Census. The Commission is currently conducting a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) in selected Enumeration Areas in six States across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to determine coverage and content errors of the just concluded Trial Census.

“In all of this journey, we never pretend that we have the magic wand and can go it alone. As a data-generating agency of government, after our Development Partners that assist us with both technical and financial backstop in carrying out our functions, the next most important allies, in our considered opinion, are the media, without whose reportage of every stage of our activities, our efforts will come to naught. It is through you (media) that people get to be aware and appreciate what projects we are embarking upon and the need to cooperate, more especially, as most of what we do are field-based, especially the upcoming 2023 Population and Housing Census”.

The NPC chairman stated that the modest luncheon put together was only symbolic and cannot compensate in any way the profound contributions the media is doing for the Commission to make it’s voices heard, it’s activities embraced and the outcomes accepted for the benefit of the nation. “I cannot thank you enough – both the print and the electronic media, as well as the online media platforms, for your complementary roles for which we remain eternally grateful”.

The NPC chairman pointed out that the Commission has, within the limits of available resources, striven to discharge its functions in line with its mandate. “These, in broad terms, revolve around providing the country with accurate and reliable data for planning and development purposes.
Over the years, the Commission has invested considerable time and resources in planning for the 2023 Population and Housing Census by drawing from its rich institutional experience spanning two censuses and a pool of tested professionals to give the nation a truly digital and scientific census that will generate data for national planning within the context of our present realities.”

He added that the outcome of the preparatory activities for the 2023 Population and Housing census has been reassuring.

In his words, “Planning without data is like groping in the dark!!

Expressing that the permanent building of the Commission will soon be completed, Isa Kwarra took time to appreciate its Development Partners especially the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), European Union (EU) and other development partners relevant MDAs and NGOs who have partnered and supported it in executing it’s mandate.

He assured Nigerians that the Commission is irrevocably committed to positively rewrite the history of censuses in Nigeria and deliver to this great nation accurate, reliable and acceptable census that will be purposefully relevant in the drive towards sustainable national development.

According to the NPC chairman, preparations for the 2023 Population and Housing Census are on course and the Commission is confident that the prospect for an accurate and reliable census appears brighter than ever.

The Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council Emmanuel Ogbeche, who was among the media personnel at the luncheon, expressed satisfaction with the workshop organised by the NPC where journalists were engaged in capacity building in preparation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.