Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The National Population Commission (NPC) in Enugu State has said the commission was ready for the conduct of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census.
Hon. Ejike Eze, the Federal Commissioner representing Enugu State in the commission said this while speaking to the media at the end of a symposium on the 2023 census in Enugu.
The Lecture was organised by the commission in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nigeria, Enugu campus.
“I can tell you that we are fully prepared and ready for the census, adequate arrangements have been made; so, I assure the people of Enugu State that, NPC will deliver a credible and verifiable census,” he said.
Eze called on the citizens and residents of the state to brace up for the census and make sure their household’s were counted.
According to him, Nigeria’s current population growth rate stands at 3.2 per cent with an estimated population of about 216 million.
He said that Nigeria had one of the fastest growing population in the world presently, adding that this required a regular conduct of census for proper planning and development.
The commissioner lamented that Nigeria’s inability to conduct a population census- in the last 17 years (2006-2023) had created serious information vacuum.
He said this had created an accurate data vacuum in policy planning and implementation.
“This is because the data from the last census – in 2006 has been rendered less useful for planning purposes,” he said.
He said there was need for the conduct of the census for effective implementation of the Federal Government Poverty alleviation programmes.
“There is a need to ensure that implementation of poverty alleviation is driven by current data from the 2023 census.
“This will improve the implementation of these programmes that target vulnerable population and ensure that “no one is left behind,” he said.
On the issue of exclusion of religion and ethnicity in the 2023 census, he said it was deliberately designed by the commission due to the sensitive nature of the issues.
He said: “The decision to exclude ethnicity and religion from the census questionnaires was taken in due consideration of the sensitive nature of these issues within the Nigerian polity.
“And also the need to save the census data from needless controversies and attention.”
The commissioner said the overriding goal of the questionnaire was to generate data that will facilitate sustainable development planning.
He appealed for full cooperation of the media and other partners to make the census a huge success.