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Training Commences for the 2023 Census as NPC Intensifies Preparations
In a recent announcement, the National Population Commission (NPC) revealed that training has commenced for various groups of employees in preparation for the highly anticipated Census of 2023. Prior to the announcement of a postponement, the Commission had already initiated training programs for select employees, as informed by Eze, a representative of the NPC, during a media briefing.
Eze explained that the training sessions are comprehensive and encompass a range of key personnel, including Data Quality Managers, Training Center Managers, Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, as well as facilitators at the national, zonal, and state levels. The next groups scheduled to undergo training are the Supervisors and Enumerators. To ensure effective communication and support, the Commission will maintain contact with its staff through online mentoring and training programs.
Furthermore, in anticipation of the Census of 2023, the Commission has procured a substantial number of Personal Digital Assistants. These gadgets, totaling approximately 500,000, have been distributed and set up across the 36 state offices and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The NPC has also taken considerable measures to safeguard the equipment against damage and theft by making adequate arrangements for storage and security.
Eze emphasized that the NPC has undertaken vigorous media campaigns and intensified advocacy efforts to promote the significance of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census. The Commission has extended its outreach at both national and state levels, establishing Census Publicity Committees to foster collaboration with stakeholders at the national, state, and local government area (LGA) levels. A variety of publicity materials have been disseminated in both English and regional languages, with an extensive presence on social media platforms. Eze assured the public that the NPC will continue to prioritize and maintain active engagement in promoting census awareness.
Underlining the importance of census data, Eze highlighted Section 213 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended), which expressly mandates the NPC to conduct a census, civil registration, and demographic surveys. Furthermore, he referenced the United Nations’ recommendation that population and housing censuses be conducted at least once every ten years in all nations.
Expressing concern, Eze lamented the fact that Nigeria’s most recent census was conducted in 2006, marking a gap of 17 years. He noted that previous attempts to hold a census had encountered significant challenges, making the upcoming National Population and Housing Census of paramount importance. The lack of recent data has hindered the country’s ability to plan for socio-economic development, as reliance on outdated information and unreliable estimates has been unavoidable.
The NPC remains steadfast in its commitment to conducting a comprehensive and accurate census in 2023, which will serve as a crucial tool for informed decision-making and development planning for Nigeria’s future.