The National Population Commission (NPC) has begun a three-day capacity building for the Management Staff and State Directors of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on the effective ways to sensitize and publicize the forthcoming 2023 Population and Housing Census.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the three-day Capacity Building Workshop on the 2023 Population and Housing Census for State Directors and Management Staff of the NOA in Abuja, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, Executive Chairman of NPC, said it has become imperative to re-boot the advocacy and publicity campaign in order to properly educate and enlighten Nigerians on the need to support the successful conduct of the 2023 census.
He noted that “any organization that strives to achieve success must be in a position to constantly convey information to all its stakeholders in order to secure their cooperation and support,” adding that the Commission has deemed it fit to enlist and collaborate with NOA in its quest to conduct a successful 2023 Population and Housing Census.
He said, “The conduct of this important workshop underscores the determination of the Commission to effectively mobilize Nigerians not only for the 2023 Census but also other activities of the Commission.
“The Commission wishes to leverage the nationwide grassroots reach of the NOA and collaborate with them in areas where the NOA has comparative advantages over the Commission such as in community engagements, field sensitization campaigns, engagements with traditional institutions, Community Based Organisations (CBOs), Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) among others.
“We require solid collaboration in information, enlightenment and advocacy not only to mobilize the entire populace for the 2023 Population and Housing Census but also help to clarify possible misrepresentation and misperception that are bound to occur in the process”.
The NPC boss expressed the belief that the workshop would help to equip the management staff of the NOA with the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out publicity activities in support of census 2023 at the grassroots.
According to him, “Census is a technical exercise with distinct terminology.
“NOA officers are expected to have a deeper understanding of the census methodology in order to effectively sensitize and mobilize the people for the 2023 census.
“The aim of the workshop is to ensure broad-based national support and cooperation for the implementation of the activities of the National Population Commission, especially the coming census 2023.
“I, therefore, enjoin participants to familiarise themselves with the technical processes of the conduct of the 2023 Census and other activities of the Commission so as to be able to forge the much-needed national consensus and handle any bias or prejudice arising from the outcome of the exercise”.
Also speaking, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, tasked the media especially government-owned media houses to champion the cause of advocacy and publicity for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
Mohammed represented by the Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, underscored the need for Nigeria to have an accurate, acceptable and credible census to ensure proper planning for the overall development of the country.
The minister, who described the census as “a very important milestone in national development”, urged government-owned media houses and other media houses to rise to the occasion.
He commended the NPC for its irrevocable commitment to conducting an accurate and reliable digital census in 2023.