By G9ija

The National Population Commission (NPC) and National Orientation Agency (NOA) have embarked on the sensitisation and awareness creation of Abuja residents towards the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

Addressing newsmen at the end of the Road Show at the Old Parade Ground, Nasir Isa Kwarra, Executive Chairman of NPC, said NPC’s partnership with NOA has become imperative in view of the forthcoming 2023 Population and Census.

Kwarra explained that the purpose of the NPC partnership with NOA as espoused by the roadshow was to deepen the already established collaboration towards an aggressive mobilisation of Nigerians and FCT residents for the next census.
He explained that NOA has established structures across the country, adding that the Commission would leverage these structures to sensitise and create awareness about the Census.

He said: “The NOA has established structure and channels of communication in national, state and local government areas.

“It has also cultivated a relationship with opinion leaders and influencers at the grassroots through its presence in all the Local Government Areas of the country.

“Leveraging these existing structures of NOA, where it has a comparative advantage over the Commission will ensure grassroots dissemination of the 2023 Census messages.

“The NPC/NOA partnership on the 2023 Census advocacy and Publicity campaign will focus on two main areas.

“The first is to build the capacity of the National Orientation Agency functionaries to have a deeper understanding of the census methodology to effectively sensitise and mobilise the people for the 2023 Census.

“Second is the field sensitisation activities that include road shows, street campaigns, community sensitisation and advocacy visits by a joint campaign team of NPC/NOA officials in Abuja and all the 36 States of the Federation, starting from October 2022.”

The NPC boss pointed out that preparations for the conduct of the Census in April 2023 were in top gear, adding that it is the responsibility of all Nigerian residents to ensure that they are counted.

“The Commission will no doubt, need the support of all stakeholders to deliver to the country credible and reliable data it can use for sustainable development planning.

“Over the years, the Commission has invested considerable time and resources in planning for the census by drawing from its rich institutional experience spanning two censuses and a pool of tested professionals to give the nation a truly digital and scientific census that will generate data for national planning within the context of our present realities.

“I am pleased to inform you all that the outcome of the preparatory activities for the 2023 Population and Housing census has been reassuring.

“The Commission has successfully demarcated 773 LGAs in all the States of the Federation and the FCT. The demarcation of the remaining one LGA of Abadam (Borno State) which has not been demarcated as a result of security challenges is ongoing.

“The Commission has also conducted the first and the second census pre-test exercises as well as the Trial Census to test the census instruments and the Commission’s readiness in preparation for the 2023 Census.

“The Commission is currently conducting a Post Enumeration Survey (PES) in selected Enumeration Areas in six States across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to determine coverage and content errors of the just concluded Trial Census.

“The Commission is on course in its mission of delivering the most credible and acceptable census in Nigeria’s history and a strategic partnership with the relevant agencies such as NOA will form the platform upon which the census architecture will stand to reach out to the Nigerian people.

“I expect that our collaboration in the advocacy and publicity campaign in support of the 2023 Population and Housing Census will sensitise every person in Nigeria to be counted for the sake of a greater, prosperous and planned Nigeria through the provision of accurate and reliable demographic data for sustainable development of our dear country,” he said.

Also speaking, the Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, said the 2023 Census is one of the most national events in the country, apart from the 2023 general elections.

Abari reiterated that the two agencies are partnering on sensitisation and advocacy campaigns for the 2023 Census, adding that an accurate census would enable the political leaders to plan for the well-being of the citizenry.

He assured that NOA would deploy all its social media handles, road shows, and sensitisation in churches, mosques, markets, motor parks, schools and communities to mobilise all Nigerians to participate during the census exercise.