Thursday, 8th June 2023

Census 2023: Mongunu inaugurates National Security, Logistic committee

By Fidelis Ebu, Abuja
10 February 2023   |   3:43 pm
The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) has said that though the task before the National Security and Logistic Committee for the forthcoming 2023 Population and Housing Census is huge, it is surmountable.

The inauguration of 2023 Census Security and Logistic Committee, National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Mongunu (right) and Chairman National Population Commission, Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra (left)

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (Rtd) has said that though the task before the National Security and Logistic Committee for the forthcoming 2023 Population and Housing Census is huge, it is surmountable.

He, therefore, urged the committee to be conscious of several risk factors that may militate against the successful conduct of the census.

While inaugurating the National Security and Logistic Committee during the week in his office, General Mongunu stated that the planning and conduct of a gigantic programme such as the census will no doubt, come with its challenges in terms of security and logistics arrangements.

According to him, “potential areas of threats to the census include physical attacks on NPC staff and facilities, attacks on security personnel on census duty, inter/intra-communal violence disrupting preparatory and main census work, attacks targeting NPC databases and ICT architecture, intimidation of members of the public to dissuade them from participating in the process, snatching and destruction of census materials, among others.

“Most prominent is the issue of insecurity arising from banditry, kidnapping, armed conflicts, terrorism, insurgency and other violent crimes which pose a major challenge to the census exercise.”

While stressing that the task before the National Security and Logistic Committee is huge, he said that Nigeria is not only diverse in size but also in languages, residence, age and socio-economic orientation.

“Given the scope of the 2023 Population and Housing Census which will cover the entire country and involve the counting of every person resident in Nigeria and taking place simultaneously in every household in the country, safeguarding the personnel and materials as well as the smooth channelling of same, is imperative to the overall success of the census exercise.

“With these at the back of our minds and the desire to succeed in this venture, this Committee must be conscious of several risks factors that may militate against the successful conduct of the 2023 Census”, he said.

He however said that the government has put in serious efforts to make the country safe for everyone.

“It is expected that with coordinated synergy by this committee, the safe movement of personnel and materials before, during and after the census will be guaranteed because we have the confidence that with the caliber of members of this committee, this national assignment will be carried out successfully.

“In consideration of your wealth of experience and commitment to nation-building, you have been carefully selected to add value as members of the committee.

“Your membership will among other duties and responsibilities, enable you to support and intervene in the security and logistic arrangements to safeguard census personnel and materials, mobilize logistic resources for the census and devise appropriate strategies for storage, distribution and retrieval of census equipment and materials where the need arises’, he told members that comprised every security apparatus.

Mongunu further stated that the setting up of the committee and its inauguration was a necessary step towards ensuring a peaceful and smooth conduct of the census.

“This is arising from the pivotal role a credible and reliable census data plays in planning for sustainable development.

“In view of this and in line with its mandate of generating demographic data for the purpose of development planning, the National Population Commission has over the years, invested considerable time and resources planning for the census with a view to give the nation a truly scientific census data that will serve as a guide for planning within the context of global economic challenges, insecurity and other human development situation.

“To this end, NPC has resolved to conduct the first fully digital census that will give the nation credible, reliable and trustworthy data which will serve as the basis for driving government planning for infrastructure, security, budget allocations and development intervention agendas.”

While wishing all members a fulfilling national assignment, the NSA stated that for a robust security and logistic architecture, the committee would be replicated in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory and in the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.

Chairman, NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, said the Commission attaches great importance to the work of the Security and Logistic Committee, which role was critical in its quest to give Nigerians credible, reliable and acceptable census data for national planning.

“I want to assure all members of the committee of iron-cast support from the commission. We are ready to fully support the committee in all areas to make it succeed in its assignments.

“The commission will without delay, organize workshops on processes and methodologies for the census to keep members of the committee up-to-date with the preparation for the census.”

Noting the vast landmark of the country, Kwarra said that the commission, in spite of all its accomplishment in the conduct of the 2023 census, has a herculean task in deploying personnel throughout the nook and cranny of the country.

“Nigeria has a vast land mass with pockets of hard-to-reach areas. With the structure and facilities of members; organization, I am confident that the committee has all it takes to mitigate the security and logistic challenges of the 2023 Census.”

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