Prof. Mala Daura, the Vice-Chancellor of Yobe State University, has cautioned the National Population Commission (NPC) against over-relying on ICT gadgets for the conduct of the 2023 national population census.

Prof Daura, with a major in Geography, gave the warning while presenting a lead paper at Yobe State Stakeholders Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census, titled: “Population and Housing Census for Planning and Development: Towards A Credible and Acceptable 2023 Exercise”.

He said, “The deployment of state-of-the-art technology alone would not guarantee the conduct of reliable and acceptable census.

“The collaboration and support of key stakeholders, which include: State Governments; Local Government Councils; Traditional and Religious Institutions; Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector; Media; Development Partners and Donor Agencies are absolutely necessary for the successful conduct of the 2023 Census”.

The VC asserted that a credible and accurate population and housing census could provide the basis for a clear roadmap for meaningful planning, implementation, and sustainable development.

“With the renewed commitment of Government through the deployment of technology, engagement of experts, personnel training, involvement and support of all stakeholders, the 2023 population and housing census will be a great success.

“Just get the people involved and let’s work towards that,” he urged.

Governor Mai Mala Buni, who declared the summit open, stressed that the population and housing census is very important, necessary, and crucial to the state, taking into cognisance the unfortunate displacement and relocation of communities by the Boko Haram insurgency that resulted in the displacement of hundreds from there ancestral homes to other communities.

“Similarly, we have recorded a mass influx of people from other states, some of whom have settled permanently in the state.

“The state government, in its resettlement and recovery programme, is building new infrastructures, reconstructing and upgrading others to meet the needs of the affected communities.

“It, therefore, becomes obvious for us to give the population and housing census the desired support and attention for a successful enumeration exercise that will support our recovery process,” he said.

Mai Aliyu Mohammed, the Federal Commissioner of NPC, Yobe State, assured the stakeholders that the commission is committed to ensuring that the census results are acceptable to Yobeans and Nigerians and that the quality of data to be generated meets international standards.