By G9ija

The National Population Commission (NPC) says the ongoing first pre-test data collection is to create a good foundation for the conduct of a credible and reliable census in the country.

Mr Nasir Kwarra, the NPC Chairman, made the remarks during a news conference on Thursday in Osogbo.

Kwarra said the pre-test exercise was aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaires and data collection methods, among others in preparation for the actual census.

He was represented at the event by Sen. Mudasiru Hussein, NPC Federal Commissioner, representing Osun.

Kwarra explained that the pre-test was not the actual census but a mirror through which to look at the commission’s readiness for the next census.

“The pre-test is part of preparation of the commission to create good foundation for the next population and housing census,” he said.

Kwarra assured Nigerians that the census when commenced would be credible, reliable and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders.

“The exercise is also a critical part of the census planning process, which provides the opportunity to test all aspect of the programme and instruments in advance for a smooth operation and successful census.

“The sampling method has been designed to test run and confirm the viability and effectiveness of the already Demarcated Enumeration Areas,” he added.

Kwarra said the pre-test exercise was currently ongoing in 222 enumeration areas across 112 local government areas in all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.

He noted that the areas were those demarcated during the 2016-2018 Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise.

The NPC boss said the pre-test exercise which commenced on June 3, would end on June 13.

Kwarra also said the EAD across the local governments areas in the country was still ongoing and would be completed in the next three months.

” The commission intends to complete the demarcation of all the 774 local government areas of the entire country in the next three months.

” Pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the EAD exercise,” he said.