• As NPC declares open training of trainers workshop for the Indentification and Mapping of Special Populations in preparation for 2023 Population and Housing Census
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA has promised to continue to work closely with National Population Commission, NPC to ensure that the Nigeria 2023 Population and Housing Census is implemented in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for the 2020 World Programme on population and housing census.
UNFPA Resident Representative, Ulla Elisabeth Mueller made the remark yesterday in Nasarawa state at the opening ceremony of training of trainers workshop for the Indentification and Mapping of Special Populations in preparation for 2023 Population and Housing Census.
Mueller, who was represented by her deputy, Dr Collins Opiyo, said that workshop activity couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time for two main reasons. Firstly, recently, the NPC in collaboration with us (UNFPA) launched the State of the World Population (SWOP) Report for 2022 with the theme “Seeing the Unseeing”. Needless to say, there exists people who were hitherto unseen, whose voices are often unheard, miffed or hidden. The UNFPA is strongly interested in reaching out to all persons regardless of ethnic group, gender, and so on for socio-economic development. Therefore, and secondly “it is our intention that no one is left behind –as enshrined in national and international development goals”.
“The right to identity confers on the individual the right to all privileges associated with development and welfare support services. The 2023 Population and Housing Census is a right conferred on residents of Nigeria to be counted in order to count. Consequently, the UNFPA aligns with the people of Nigeria, especially National Population Commission, in preparing to conduct a credible and acceptable census process by identifying and mapping special population whose voices would have been lost otherwise. Indeed, UNFPA had provided both technical and financial support for the pilot phase of this activity to identify and map the special populations. I wish to appreciate the Executive Chairman, NPC; for escalating the special population mapping exercise countrywide in order to ensure that they are enumerated completely and accurately in order to be heard and seen – to ensure the needs of these vulnerable groups are considered those left behind furthest are reached first at all levels of decision making”.
According to her, UNFPA is enthused to be associated with this activity as it will add substantial value towards ensuring a credible Census process and quality and acceptable data to be used to make critical decisions going forward.
“We continue to work closely with NPC to ensure that the Nigeria 2023 Population and Housing Census is implemented in accordance with the United Nations Principles and Recommendations for the 2020 World Programme on population and housing censuses”.
Apparently appreciative of the measure of work done so far, the UNFPA said against the backdrop of challenging circumstances, to implement the first fully digital Census process in Nigeria which is transformational, timely and full of promise for Nigeria’s data and information needs for the next decade and beyond, ‘UNFPA shares your passion and stands with you as you lead NPC in re-writing the history of Census taking in Nigeria!”
Chairman of NPC, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra while declaring the workshop open, said one of the key features of a census as outlined in the UN Recommendation for the conduct of Population and Housing Censuses is universality; that is, the population and housing census should provide data on the total number of persons, households and housing within a precisely defined territory of a country.
Practically, it means that everyone within the boundaries of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be enumerated in the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
According to him, experience has shown that the enumeration of special populations usually constitutes a significant challenge in censuses, is due to the unique nature of their settlement, occupation or other characteristics that make them special compared to regular or institutional populations.
He pointed out that as the Commission prepares for the 2023 population and housing census, all members of these groups must be identified on time wherever they are, and their locations mapped and geo-referenced into the national frame to ensure that adequate planning is made for their enumeration during the census.
These populations include:
•Refugees/Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
In addition to identifying and mapping the location of these special populations, it is also crucial that this exercise provides important socio-cultural and qualitative information that will facilitate planning for publicity, logistics and appropriate procedure for the enumeration of this group. As such, the data expected from this project include:
The location of special populations within the localities in all Local Government Areas, LGAs of the country.
Special populations community knowledge of the 2023 Population and Housing Census and the sources of such knowledge.
The daily activities of the groups, their movement patterns and migratory intentions as it affects community participation in the Census.
The preferred sources of information and communication, existing social organisations, institutions and means of communication that can be used to mobilise these communities for effective participation in the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
The perceived constraints (physical, social and cultural) to successful enumeration of special populations.
And the most effective ways by which the special populations can be effectively covered in the 2023 Census.
“Given the importance of this endeavour, there is the need for you, the trainees, to ensure that you pay maximum attention during the training to assimilate procedures to systematically undertake this exercise. You will be introduced to the different methodologies to be adopted including Focal Group Discussions, Key Informant Interviews and actual mapping of the location of the special populations using GIS technology. These are all transferable skills that you can also use in other areas and lends credence to the drive by the Commission to ensure that the 2023 Population and Housing Census also serves as a huge capacity building opportunity for Nigerians”, Alhaji Nasir Isa Kwarra said as he commend the managers of the project for assiduously working to deliver the project under the tight timeline of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, and to encourage them to work even harder to deliver the data for pre-testing during the Trial Census scheduled for this month.
He appreciates the UNFPA for their enduring support for the process and for providing the funds that facilitated the conduct of the pilot phase of the exercise of which the lessons learnt have been incorporated in planning for the scale-up to all the LGAs in the country.
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