Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
A public policy analyst, Chima Christian, has called for multi-stakeholder audits and integrity tests on the systems and processes of Nigeria’s National Population Commission (NPC) ahead of the country’s planned census exercise from May 3 – 5, 2023.
In a social media post, Christian endorsed Nigeria’s gradual migration to tech-based solutions but expressed concern about the NPC’s “digitisation” of the upcoming census exercise.
He pointed out that the systems and processes NPC will be relying on to conduct the exercise have not been audited or subjected to integrity tests, especially by those who stand to be most affected by a flawed census exercise.
Christian urged Nigerians to prevail on the Federal Government to allow for scenario tests to determine the vulnerability of NPC’s systems and processes to the autonomous decisions of the individuals operating them.
He warned that if the systems can be corrupted or technically tampered with by the individuals operating them, then they cannot be relied upon to produce accurate and acceptable demographic data.
The public policy analyst also called on Nigerians to lend their voices to the call for the postponement of the census exercise until the NPC’s systems and processes have been audited and any identified lapses closed.
Chima cited the recent experiences with Mahmood Yakubu’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and warned that if the NPC is allowed to conduct a national census exercise with unaudited systems and processes, then the outcome would be easy to forecast.