2023 Census: NPC pledges to deliver credible, fair, reliable figures

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

In its determination to deliver a fair, balanced and credible Population and Housing Census in 2023, the National Population Commission (NPC) has reiterated its resolve to adopt edge-cutting technology for the exercise.

Prof. Habiba Isah Jimoh, Federal Commissioner representing Kogi State in the Commission disclosed this at a One-day State Level Capacity Building Workshop for Journalists on Effective Reporting of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Lokoja.

Prof. Jimoh said that census was key, critical and crucial to the development of any nation and though with huge costs, it was necessary to be held decennially (every 10 years) in accordance with international best practices.

According to the National Commissioner, citizen’s needs vary from group to grouo and through census, government would be able to know and plan for them to be met and deploy necessary amenities, where, how and when.

“If you don’t avail this type of information to the government, the government cannot plan. Although it is very disturbing that a government will be in place and they will not think of census.

“The argument has been that, with what instrument are they going to work in their government. Census is critical, its crucial for the smooth running of any particular government in Nigeria.

“That is why today, I am aware that the National Population Commission is preparing a document to the National Assembly for endorsement such that every 10 years census must be conducted”, he said.

The Professor of Geography assured that the Commission’s server to be deployed in the forthcoming Population Census conduct from March 29 to April 2, this year, was of Hi-Tech and built in-house to resist hacking and interferences.

Speaking earlier, Mr Ojo Titus Abiodun, the Kogi State Director of the Commission said cutting edge technology has been deployed to ensure a smooth and hitch-free conduct of the exercise.

Abiodun said the Commission has resolved to conduct a fair, credible and acceptable Population and Housing Census in the country without bias for tribe, religion and race adding that journalists had a pivotal role to play in the exercise.

He said that the media capacity building was imperative in the exercise adding, “As Journalists and mouthpiece of the people, you can only talk about what you truly have experience on.

The State Director who gave a Chronicle of Census activities in the country from the pre-independence colonial era to post-independence, x-rayed the pitfalls and assured that the commission would avoid them this time around with edge-cutting technology.

Comr. Adeiza Momoh-Jimoh, Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kogi State Council, underscored the place of reliable population data in planning and nation building and urged the Commission to be thorough in the upcoming exercise.

He however implored the NPC to guard against hacking of the communication equipment to be deployed, especially the server, as seen in recent outing of a sister commission on a critical national assignment.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Femi Fanwo, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Teddy Adegbola urged Journalists to be fair in their reportage and avoid misinformation.

Mrs Ralie Omattah, Kogi State Public Affairs Officer in the Commission, in her presentation on “How to Generate Media Contents on the 2023 Population and Housing Census” urged Journalists to help inform and educate the people on the census exercise.

She said the capacity building is to equip the journalists with technical knowledge to inform and educate the public to enhance acceptability of “Our product, the 2023 census and refute negative perception/wrong criticisms.

“A critical national programme such as census will naturally suffer from wrong perceptions, information distortion and fake news. In this regard, the Journalists can help to generate content’s that will correct the misinformation”, she said. (Ends)

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