Naomi Gabriel —
In creating awareness for next year’s population and housing census, the National Population Commission (NPC) and the National Orientation Agency (NOA) yesterday took to the streets of the Nigerian capital, Abuja on advocacy and publicity road-show in sensitizing and educating the public.
The road-show which began from two points – the NPC and NOA headquarters had the Executive Chairman of the NPC, Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra revealing the purpose of the commission’s partnership with NOA which is to deepen the already established collaboration towards an aggressive mobilization of Nigerians and FCT residents for next year’s census.
“The collaboration with the NOA is the start of many collaboration and partnership in the implementation of advocacy and publicity activities for the 2023 Census, Kwarra said.
“We believe that this road-show will be stepped down to the State level to complement the advocacy and publicity for the next census”.
He added that the NOA has established structure and channels of communication in national, state and local government areas. He also revealed that the NOA has cultivated a relationship with opinion leaders and influencers at the grassroots through its presence in all the Local Government Areas of the country.
“Leveraging these existing structures of NOA where it has a comparative advantage over the Commission, will ensure grassroots dissemination of the 2023 Census messages”.
According to Kwarra, the NPC/NOA partnership on the 2023 Census advocacy and Publicity campaign will focus on two main areas – to build the capacity of the National Orientation Agency functionaries to have a deeper understanding of the census methodology to effectively sensitize and mobilize the people for the 2023 Census, and the field sensitization activities that include road shows, street campaigns, community sensitization and advocacy visits by a joint campaign team of NPC/NOA officials in Abuja and all the 36 States of the Federation, starting from October, 2022.
While responding to questions about the Nigerians in the Diaspora, the NPC chairman said census is a national event and is the responsibility of every citizen to participate by presenting themselves to be counted.
“The Commission will no doubt, need the support of all stakeholders to deliver to the country credible and reliable data it can use for sustainable development planning, he continued.
“Over the years, the Commission has invested considerable time and resources in planning for the census by drawing from its rich institutional experience spanning two censuses and a pool of tested professionals to give the nation a truly digital and scientific census that will generate data for national planning within the context of our present realities”.
He said the Commission has successfully demarcated 773 LGAs in all the States of the Federation and the FCT, and that the demarcation of the remaining one LGA of Abadam (Borno State) which has not been demarcated as a result of security challenges is ongoing.
“The Commission has conducted the first and the second census pre-test exercises as well as the Trial Census to test the census instruments and the Commission’s readiness in preparation for the 2023 Census, and is currently conducting a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) in selected Enumeration Areas in six States across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to determine coverage and content errors of the just concluded Trial Census”, Isa Kwarra explained.
He also stressed that the Commission is on course in its mission to deliver the most credible and acceptable census in Nigeria’s history and a strategic partnership with relevant agencies such as NOA will form the platform on which the census architecture will stand to reach out to the Nigerian people.
Aside the collaboration with NOA, which underscores the determination and commitment of the Commission to conduct a successful Population and Housing Census in 2023, NPC is determined to partner with the relevant agencies to effectively mobilize the citizenry by “getting the people involved”.
“I expect that our collaboration in the advocacy and publicity campaign in support of the 2023 Population and Housing Census will sensitize every person in Nigeria to be counted for the sake of a greater, prosperous and planned Nigeria, through the provision of accurate and reliable demographic data for sustainable development of our dear country”, Kwarra concluded.