National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra State has called on specialized workforce and facilitators participating in the ongoing training for the 2023 Population and Housing Census to exemplify highest moral and ethical conducts towards the success of the exercise.
Federal Commissioner representing the Commission in the state, Chidi Ezeoke who gave the advice on Saturday at the closing and oath taking ceremony, also cautioned against divulging of sensitive information in course of the exercise.
He said, “We’re aware of our problems in 2006, and we know what we’re facing presently. But such won’t stop us from conducting the exercise because of its importance to national planning.
“We’ll absorb as many gatecrashers as possible to ensure their training is not in vain. I urge you to be good ambassador of yourself and the commission you’re representing. Don’t be rude to respondents but exercise restrain where necessary.”
He appreciated Governor Chukwuma Soludo for his support to the commission, especially in establishing the State Census Committee, just as he called for cooperation on the part of residents to ensure successful conduct of the headcount.
Also speaking, Director, Legal Services in the Commission, Dr. Mrs. Chioma Umeh-Kalu, said the oath taking was to protect and expose participants to certain principles, including secrecy and non- destruction of materials.
Umeh-Kalu, represented by Donald Chiemezie said emphasis on offenses and penalties was not to instill fear on participants, but for them to be on same page with the Commission to get the best from them.
“We’ve had issues in the past where the commission was faced with several litigations after headcount. As a commission backed up by law, we want to avert such as much as possible” he said.
A member of the committee, and State Commissioner of Culture, Tourism and Entertainment, Don Onyenji congratulated the trainees for their decision to be part of the exercise, stressing, “it’s a privilege to be part of those to make history.”
He regretted under-estimation of the state’s population ocasioned by ugly experience during the previous exercise, expressing optimism that such ugly development would be addressed in the forthcoming census.
Earlier during the oath administration, Chief Magistrate in the State Judiciary, Genevieve Osakwe, said she would only append her signature to forms of facilitators bearing their recent passports and signatures.
On his part, State Director, NPC, Dr Joachim Ulasi said a total of 1159 facilitators, including 431 Specialized Workforce took part in the oath taking ceremony.
He described the training as satisfactory and quality of manpower as unquantifiable, saying, “it’s only in Anambra that when you open the portal, you see lots of PhD holders, Principals, Magistrates, among other senior officers applying as facilitators.”