The Anambra State government has cautioned against trivializing the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census across the country.
Commissioner of Information, Paul Nwosu stated this on Tuesday at a one-day capacity building workshop organized by National Population Commission (NPC) for journalists on effective reporting of the 2023 population and housing Census.
He regretted negative disposition of people of the state to previous headcounts, saying it was necessary the exercise was accorded the importance it deserved in view of its significance to economic planning and development.
He urged the participants to take the training seriously by paying rapt attention to facilitators to ensure better appreciation of their professional roles for effective reporting of the exercise.
He said, “We’ve interfacing with the NPC for the past months because this Census is very consequential to us as a government and people.
“Previously, our people had treated Census with certain level of levity, perhaps because they didn’t understand the importance and implications of the exercise.
“Unfortunately, our northern brothers seem to appreciate the import of the exercise more than us, that’s why they mobilize and deploy all manner of logistics.
“It’s important we change the attitude of our people through robust and effective communication. The earlier they realize that government relies on statistics for effective planning, the better.”
Earlier, NPC Federal Commissioner, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke said the workshop offered the Commission opportunity to share its vision with media practitioners as well as to draw their support to ensure broad-based national cooperation.
He reiterated the importance of credible and reliable Census, reassuring the commission’s commitment and professional capacity to deliver on its mandate.
“The Commission is on course in its mission of delivering an accurate Census to Nigerians and a strategic partnership with the media will form the tripod upon which the Census architecture will stand to reach out to the Nigerian people.
“Therefore, the convening of this workshop for journalists in the state is one of such engagements which underscores the determination and commitment of the commission to conduct a successful population and housing Census,” he stressed.
Over 30 journalists from both print and electronics media organizations attended the workshop where papers on different topics including Enumeration Area Demarcation, Process and Methodology, Technical innovation, History of Population, among others were presented.