The Federal Government is to procure adequate data for national planning and development of the country through the successful conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission (NPC), Akwa Ibom, Mr Benedict Ukpong, said this during a meeting with media executives in Uyo on Tuesday.
Ukpong said that in spite of the postponement of the exercise by the immediate past, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Commission is doing everything possible to sustain and reinforce the relevant activities to the successful conduct of the 2023 census.
The national commissioner said that the commission had reviewed the processes and systems put in place for the smooth conduct of the population and housing census to determine what need to be done to ensure that the preparations were not obsolete.
“The focus of the Commission is to ensure that all the resources expended so far are safeguarded and that the nation does not need to start all over when the census is to be conducted.
“For us at the Commission, this is not a difficult task. In coming up with the plan for the 2023 Census, the Commission was not only looking at the immediate needs of delivering the next census but concerned more with laying a solid foundation for future censuses.
“This mindset informed the scope and quality of arrangements put in place,” Ukpong said.
Ukpong added that before the postponement the commission had put in place all necessary arrangements for the conduct of a successful 2023 population and housing census in the country.
He said that the commission had carried out massive advocacy and publicity for the 2023 population census at the national and state levels.
“The Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), which involved the division of the country into small land areas that Enumerators can easily cover during the Census was meticulously undertaken in such a way that only an update will be required for future censuses.
“Using satellite imageries, the Enumeration Areas were all geo-referenced with the coordinates of all the buildings established. The products of the EAD are currently being used by other government agencies.
“In Akwa Ibom State, the Commission has successfully demarcated all localities (villages) in the 31 Local Government Areas of the state.
“All parts of the State including the riverine communities, oil platforms and other hard-to-reach areas were visited and demarcated completely.
“The Enumeration Area Maps created from the exercise are ready for the execution of the Census in the State,” he said.
The federal commissioner urged the new Akwa Government to improve upon the previous administration and key into the 2023 census as it is for the common interests, progress and development of the country.
He said that the Akwa Ibom Government is yet to inaugurate a security and logistic committee in the state, stressing that it is statutory for the state government to inaugurate these committees for the smooth conduct of the census.
“Let me add here that the Census Publicity Committee as well as the Security and Logistics Committee are yet to be inaugurated in our state.
“All the efforts made by the Commission to get the last administration in the State to inaugurate and fund the Committees in the State yielded no positive results.
“It is statutory that these Committees be inaugurated and supported to work by the State Chief Executive.
“It is my belief that the new government of His Excellency, Mr Umo Eno will inaugurate these two strategic Census Committees in the State within the shortest possible time.
“The commission had been mandated to continue to carry out advocacy to ensure that the Census messages remain at the centre of national and state discourse,” he said.
The federal commissioner commended President Bola Tinubu on his inauguration, adding that he would empower and support the Commission to conduct the 2023 population and housing census to provide evidence-based data for the planning and development of the country.