Chairman National Population Commission, NPC Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra believes that the preparations for the 2022 Population and Housing Census are on course and the Commission is confident that the prospect for an accurate and reliable census appears brighter than ever.
Kwarra was emphatic today in Karu, Mararaba, Nasarawa state when he said that, as part of preparations for the conduct of the Census, the Commission is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the results of the census is acceptable to Nigerians and the quality of the data to be generated meets international best standards for planning purposes.
The NPC Chairman said the optimism is rooted in the fact that the present Commission has taken time to identify and deliberate on issues that stalled past censuses and have resolved to avoid those pitfalls through the adoption of scientific planning and modern digital technology.
While declaring open a workshop on ‘Census Management Training for Chairman and Honourable Federal Commissioners’ organised by the National Population Commission in Nasarawa, Kwarra said the new approach will no doubt enhance the credibility of the process by eliminating double enumeration of respondents and improve the accuracy of the census result and the acceptability of the census outcome both locally and internationally, as he appeal to Nigerians to join the Commission in the bid to give the country accurate and reliable data through the forthcoming census.
“Our population remains the greatest asset in national development, which must be harnessed in order to make life worth living for the people.
“In addition, there is the need for a shift in national attitude that sees census data as a tool for seeking economic and political advantages. Rather, we must strive to discover the real essence of the census data as a treasure of information and veritable compass in the effort to build and plan a greater and prosperous Nigeria”.
According to the NPC Chairman, the goal of the training is to engender deeper and common understanding of the Strategies and Methodology of the 2022 Population and Housing Census among top functionaries of the Commission.
The specific objectives are:
• To review history of census taking in Nigeria and consider lessons learnt;
• To familiarise the body of the Commission with the United Nations principles and Recommendations for best practices in Population and Housing Census taking;
• To make participants appreciate the imperative of the work breakdown structure in census taking;
• Introduce effective communication skills and public management during the census;
• To introduce participants to risks inherent in census project and mitigation plans;
• To acquaint participants with the Census methodology and instruments.
He however pointed out that the conduct of the training underscores the determination and readiness of the Commission to deliver on its mandate of conducting a credible and reliable census.
“The Chairman and Federal Commissioners stand at the top of the hierarchy of the Commission and saddled with the responsibilities of not only formulating policies for the Commission but also ensuring their effective implementation.
“They constitute the drivers of the census process who need to be properly equipped with the deep knowledge and complexity of a sensitive national assignment like the census.
“I am delighted that topics related to the various aspects of the census process have been slated for presentation by eminent resource persons at this high level technical training”, he said and added that a Strategy and Implementation Plan has been developed for the 2022 Census, and that the Commission remains open to innovative solutions and suggestions on how to improve the census process and outcomes.
He expressed that with the array of resource persons drawn from the academia, development partners and former Commission, “I am confident that best international practices and precious experience in management of past censuses will feature in deliberations at the training”.
To achieve the objectives of the training, the NPC Chairman urged participants to display maximum attention, commitment and dedication at all the training sessions and make meaningful contributions, because the Commission expects much from them at the end of the programme.
“The worship coming at a time when the Commission has undertaken some critical preparatory activities towards the next census, it is my expectation that the Federal Commissioners will bring their field experiences to bear on deliberations at this training session.
“If we are to align ourselves with the vision and mission statement of the Commission, whose vision is to become the population centre of excellence and the most responsive public institution in Nigeria and a mission to be the leading demographic agency in Africa, meeting the data needs of end users and ensuring robust population quality for national transformation and global competitiveness, then, we must all work assiduously to achieve these goals,” he added as he assured that the National Population Commission is irrevocably committed to positively rewrite the history of censuses in Nigeria and deliver to this great nation accurate and reliable census that will be purposefully relevant in the drive towards sustainable development.