By: Our Reporter
The National Population Commission, NPC, has called for an urgent commencement of the process of conducting the 2023 population and Housing Census to enable the country fit into the global data and benchmark.
The Federal Commissioner, NPC, Prince (Dr.) Diran Iyantan made the call at a breakfast meeting with Media Executives in Ondo State on the 2023 population and Housing Census held on Saturday 10, 2023 in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Iyantan said the sensitivity of the exercise is to move with the train of the time, which heightens the fact that Nigeria is at risk of missing out.
The NPC Federal Commissioner said, “Not conducting a census soon means that Nigeria which is the most populous country in Africa risks being out of scene with the international community census scheme potentially affecting our ability to compare with the global benchmark.”
According to him, the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari said he had discussed with President Bola Tinubu on the need to as a matter of urgency, continue the process of completing of the exercise.
Iyantan who explained that the census had multidimensional purpose for the development of the country, appealed to the media family to make sure that the process is not delayed.
The purpose of the breakfast meeting he stated, was to update the media on the status of operation of the census, pointing that the commission has taken up to 30 different activities it had done for a successful census.
Iyantan who reeled out several preparatory activities that had been carried out towards the census among many others to include; the Enumeration Area Demarcation, conduct of pre-tests and trial census, recruitment and training of census field staff, procurement and configuration of personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), establishment of ICT infrastructures across the country and logistics support and advocate and publicity activities.
In his goodwill message, the Ondo state Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ, Prince Leke Adegbite who was represented by the Union’s state Treasurer, Alhaja Fatima Muraina, who said the media have been helping the NPC in the mobiliasation of citizenry on the census before it was postponed, assured of the media continuous support whenever the NPC is ready to carry out the exercise.
Adegbite said members of the union are always ready to enlighten the people and the public through their media platforms on the need to be part of the exercise, as he urged the commission to also continue to work with the media so that the right and accurate activities of NPC would be reported to the public.
Also Speaking, the Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of Owena Press Limited, publishers of The Hope, Sir Ademola Adetula who was represented by the Editor, Mr. Akindele Adubuola, who sought the application of technology, manpower and sincerity of purpose noted that Nigeria has a long way to go without a credible census.
While wishing the commission a successful exercise, he pledged his assistance whenever and wherever it is needed towards a successful exercise.
The State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mrs Adelayo Adefolalu, represented by Mr Akinde Babatunde, said her organisation is waiting for the new date for the commencement of the exercise to continue enlightenment , as she disclosed that NOA had deployed all resources in terms of human and machineries to sensitize and are still sensitizing the people about the conduct of the census.
Earlier, the state Director of NPC, Mr Falusi Oluyemi in his opening remarks, had expressed the need for conducting this year’s census which he described as long overdue after 17 years of the last exercise.
According to Falusi, the long gap has left the country with an inadequate data to rely on which has affected planning and policy making.
He appreciated the media executives for their commitment, support and sacrifices towards the success of the project just as he solicited their unalloyed continuous cooperation for the commission.