Ahead of the 2023 Population and Housing Census, the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, has said that no African nation comes close to Nigeria on geospatial and census data.

Hon. Kwarra, who stated this during an interview on Good Morning Nigeria programme on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) yesterday, said the Commission was able to put Nigeria at that esteemed level through the deployment of high-end technologies.

He said, “What we have in our satellite system is far better than what you have on Google map, ours is more detailed than that. This is because we deployed high-end technology.

“I would like to add that no nation in Africa has done the kind of work that we’ve done in the field of geospatial data, combining census data and geospatial data, no African nation has come close.”

Speaking on the commencement of the Trial Census and plans for the 2023 Census, the NPC Chairman stated that personnel have been thoroughly trained.

He stressed that the Commission will not rest on its oars in advocacy and publicity, noting that they are factors that would prove the 2023 census effective and successful.

His words, “During training, we instilled in them the spirit of nationalism, take this project as your own, you are not just doing it for doing sake, you are doing it for Nigeria. We need to have this accurate data for Nigeria to use and plan for the development of this country.

“Advocacy and publicity are very important, it is the main important thing that will make this census acceptable, get people to know about it, let them be involved and when we do that, at every level, they are carried and when the outcome is reported, they accept it because they were part and parcel of the whole process.”

He further noted that the Commission is collaborating with relevant agencies, like the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), and some United Nations agencies, for effective service.

Why we opted for digital census — Census Manager, Jalingo

On his part, Census Manager, NPC, Dr. Inuwa Bakari Jalingo, said that the choice of the digital census will provide the Commission with limitless opportunities for accurate data.

He said, “The digital technology provides limitless opportunities because the limit of your knowledge is the opportunities you have in the digital platform. Thanks be to God, some of us in the Commission has been in the last two censuses in 1991 and 2006, we were the key players in those censuses.

“We have also learned the mistakes that have taken place, and thank God that we are at the technical helm of the operations. We have garnered over 30 years’ experience; we’ve worked in all ramifications, in terms of training and data processing. So, we all know the problems.

“The digital census will direct us on how many hours it took to enumerate a building, and how many minutes it took to enumerate a household, which puts us in the right direction. It gives us a dashboard of information for the enumerators.”

Capturing of Nigerians in Diaspora

When asked on how Nigerians in Diaspora and Nigerians who may be on transit during the census would be captured, the Director, Census, NPC, Mrs. Evelyn Arinola Olanipekun, said, “Census is a snapshot of the population of a nation, and it is always taken within a defined geographic scope.

“Now the census is going to be within Nigeria’s geographic scope, as many that come into Nigeria as at the time of the snapshot will be captured and all that have moved out are out of the photograph.”

NPC Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra and his entourage with the anchorman of the Good Morning Nigeria, Kierian Umeayo and his team immediately after the programme at the NTA Headquarters in Abuja