Next census will be the most credible in Nigeria, says Ebonyi NPC boss

Hon. Darlington Okereke

From Zara Nwachinemere Abakaliki,

The Federal Commissioner in-charge of National Population Census, NPC, in Ebonyi state, Hon. Darlington Okereke, Friday, stated that  the next census that will be conducted in Nigeria will be the most credible in the history of the country.

He said the Commission is deploying strong electronic gadgets for the exercise.

Okereke disclosed this while briefing journalists in Abakaliki on the ongoing fieldwork for the 1st pre-test for the next population and housing census.

He said gone are the days of paper census as they have adopted electronic census.”I want to assure you that we are not only going to conduct a credible census, we are going to conduct an acceptable and reliable census better than what we used to have because we are deploying strong  electronic gadgets for this exercise. It will be the best census we will have so far in this country.

“The stage the world is now, we are no longer using maps, paper census, we are using purely electronic and it makes things easier for us,” he noted.

Okereke said the commission has intensified the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) activity with 630 local government areas successfully demarcated from pilot face to the more recent completion of phase 14 EAD exercise.

He said the commission intends to complete the demarcation of all the 774 LGAs of the entire country in the next three months.

The commissioner said the pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the actual census, at the middle of the EAD exercise, noting that the exercise is a critical part of the census planning process which provides the opportunity to test all aspect of the census programme and instruments in advance of the main census activities.

He said the pre-test was aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires, data collection methods, the manuals for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.

He noted that Enumeration Areas in Ikwo, Ohaozara and Ivo local government areas of Ebonyi state, demarcated between 2016-2018 are being examined, and the census instruments deployed to the LGAs to run their suitability and readiness for the actual census.

Okereke said the objectives of the 2021 pre-test include, ascertaining the quality and usefulness of the EA maps already created, demographic and geographic changes that have occurred in the EAs created in 2016-2018 and their implications for census enumeration.

The commissioner said the pre-test exercise is taking place in 222 EAs, in 112 LGAs across the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

“It involves a total of 894 field functionaries comprising; 444 enumerators, 37 supervisors, 37 ICT supervisors, 37 field coordinators, 37 state coordinators, 37 monitors from the headquarters; 37 monitors from the state and 6 coordinators.

“However, in Ebonyi state, there are a total of 12 enumerators, 2 coordinators, 1 supervisor, 1 GIS, one ICT support and 2 M&E”, Okereke added.

He hinted that the fieldwork and data collection for the 1st pre-test commenced from June 6 to 13 June 2021 in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT, while the pre-test is being carried out by 37 teams, one each per state and FCT.

He appealed to the respondents in the selected local government areas and enumeration areas to extend maximum cooperation to the interviewers and answer all the questions truthfully.

He assured that all information volunteered will be treated with utmost confidentiality and will not be divulged for any other purpose.

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