…reiterates the importance of the Census for National planning and development
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has urged religious and traditional leaders, civil society organizations and other stakeholders to assist the state towards ensuring aggressive mobilization and publicity for the forthcoming 2023 population and housing census.
He made the appeal while inaugurating State and Local government level Security, Logistics and Publicity Committees for the exercise at the secretary to the state Government Hall, Awka.
Soludo, represented by the Secretary to State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu reiterated the importance of the Census for National planning and development.
He however regretted the ugly experience recorded in the entire Southeast during the last census, stressing that such should not be allowed in the forthcoming exercise.
He said, “We need to ratchet up the publicity within the remaining weeks. We all know the importance of security, logistics and publicity. There are quite a lot to do, though the committee responsibilities are quite spelt out.
“During the last census, we in the Southeast shot ourselves in the foot. This time around we can’t do that. Everyone needs to be counted. Besides, the notion that children are not counted has been overtaken.
“Due to the uncertainty of the date, the publicity has not been widespread and effective as it ought to be. But we have up to two weeks to ratchet it up.
“We’re appealing to the churches to help us with the publicity every Sunday worship. The same goes with traditional rulers, Civil Societies and Town Unions. You have lots of work to do, including carrying the awareness to the nooks and crannies of the State.
“Fortunately, most of the officials that will be involved in the exercise will be community based. Hopefully, we don’t expect to have too many challenges, including security since there’s nothing to fight over.”
Federal Commissioner representing the state in the Commission, Mr Chidi Ezeoke reassured residents of the State of the commission irrevocable committment to ensuring that everything about the census was done rightly and professionally.
He said the commission has the clear vision, commitment and capacity to deliver on the historic mandate.
He said, “The mobilization of critical stakeholders to support and take ownership of the process to achieve desired outcome is imperative and hinges absolutely on our ability to speak to the people in the language that will galvanize and mobilize them to participate in the census.
“The commission will be relying on your expertise and structures to secure census personnel and materials to drive the message into every home and household to drum support and participation in the census.
Also speaking, Commissioner for information, Paul Nwosu, while reiterating the importance of census, maintained that media has major role to play to ahead of the exercise, including disabusing certain cultural hang-up and indoctrination among the people of the area.
He appealled to the NPC to make the census handbook available for the media to ensure proper and accurate information and education of the larger population.
Earlier, State Director, NPC, Dr Joachim Ulasi commended the state government for its support to the seamless preparation of the exercise.
“It is my utmost believe that with the continued support of the state government, in addition to the present inauguration of the state level security, logistics, and Publicity Committees for 2023 population and housing census, coupled with the activities of other stakeholders in this country and more especially” Ndi Anambra” a digital, credible, verifiable, reliable and acceptable census is possible,” he reiterated.
In attendance were heads of security services, the Army, Police, Immigration, NSCDC, Correctional Services, NOA, NYSC, members of the media, amongst others.