Calls for 2023 census shift ill-advised - NPC boss

Calls for 2023 census shift ill-advised – NPC boss

…says there’s no way the census will clash with the election

The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra State, Chidi Ezeoke has described calls to postpone the 2023 national population and housing census as ill-advised.

He said the Commission had gone far in its preparation for the exercise that any call for shift would only be counterproductive.

Addressing newsmen in Awka ahead of the Trial Post Enumeration Survey (PES), Ezeoke also argued that figures from the forthcoming exercise would go a long way in assisting the in-coming government in proper planning.

He said, “For how long will the international community refer to Nigeria’s population as estimated to be? I think it’s very shameful to say the Nigeria population is about. 

“The last census, if I’ll remember was done immediately after an election. It had nothing to do with the election, absolutely nothing. 

“In fact, we need the population figure to allow those who will come into power to know how to plan for the people they’re to lead. Is it not a plausible explanation of why the exercise is necessary now?

“I don’t think they’re right to call for a shift. All the preparatory activities which the government had spent money on will go down the drain, because you’ll have to begin afresh when next you want to do it. So who loses?

“Again, there’s no way the census will clash with the election because we must have finished with the election before the census. That’s why we didn’t conduct the trial census before the primary election.”

Underscoring the importance of the Trial PES, which is in line with the United Nations principles and recommendations, the NPC boss stressed that the exercise gives credibility to the census results and engenders confidence and acceptability by data users.

“Some of the objectives of the Trial PES include measuring coverage and content errors, identification of procedural and conceptual limitations that required improvement in future censuses and large scale surveys, and provision of statistical basis for adjustment of Trial Census results based on net coverage rates,” he added.

Ezeoke appealed to the people of the State to join the Commission in beaquiting to the nation a demographic data to assist her navigate through her myriad of challenges. 

“Getting the 2023 population and housing census right is a task that must be done. The cooperation and support of all stakeholders in the 11 selected localities/villages in Oba, Idemili South Local Government Areas of the State is vital for the successful conduct of the the exercise,” Ezeoke stressed.

Also speaking, State Director, NPC, Dr. Joachim Ulasi said the commission had constituted an independent team saddled with the responsibility of preparing and conducting the 2023 PES to take place shortly after next year’s census.

He also disclosed state government’s approval of establishment of state Census Committee in the 21 Local Government Areas of the State, including the 179 communities in the State. 

“The independent team is important because those conducting the PES should be different from those who conducted the Trial Census, according to international standard, in order to avoid bias while checking the coverage and content error,” he added.

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