The Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, has tasked newly recruited enumerators to ensure accuracy in data gathering during the Trial Census.

He stated this during his monitoring visits to two training centers for Enumerators located in Gwagwalada, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and Ado in Karu LGA, Nasarawa State.

The NPC Chairman was accompanied on the assessment visit by the Honourable Federal Commissioner, Rivers State and Chairman of the Census Committee, Dr. Ipalibo MacDonald Harry; Acting Director-General, Ugoeze (Mrs.) Patience Mbagwu; UNFPA Chief Technical Adviser for the 2023 Census, Dr. Collins Opiyo; Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya; Director of Census, Mrs. Evelyn Arinola Olanipekun; Director of Special Duties, Ahmed Kumo; Special Assistant to the Chairman, Isyiaku Alhaji Husaini; Technical Adviser, Ahmed Yahaya Doma among other technical staff of the Commission.

Hon. Kwarra underscored the need for enumerators to be thorough, painstaking and accurate in the data gathering, adding that accurate data would foster quality planning for national development.

He said the conduct of the forthcoming census will be digital, as a result, it is imperative for the enumerators to learn the nitty-gritty of the process to guarantee accurate data.

He said: “We want to have accurate data. Please, give maximum attention to facilitators as they train you. Get acquainted with these hand-held devices. Without accurate data, we cannot plan adequately in this country. If we don’t get data accurately, we will mislead planners. That is why it is important that we get it right.”

NPC Boss further appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with enumerators by giving them the truthful and right information to guarantee quality data.

The Honourable Federal Commissioner, Rivers State and Chairman, Census Committee, Dr. Ipalibo MacDonald Harry, while speaking charged the participants to own the exercise. He also reminded them of the digital nature of the exercise and implore them to show that they can produce a remarkable and reliable output.

In her remarks, the Acting Director-General of NPC, Ugoeze (Mrs.) Patience Uju Mbagwu reiterated the need for quality and accurate data, urging the enumerators to carry out the national assignment conscientiously.

Mrs. Mbagwu charged them to utilize the 12day training period to get acquainted with the entire process, urging them to commit themselves to the success of the Trial Census. She restated that a digital, paperless census would be conducted, just like their recruitment was done electronically to ensure transparency and promote merit.

Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Technical Adviser for Nigeria 2023 Census, Dr. Collins Opiyo, said there is a need for Nigeria to conduct a credible census in 2023 after 16 years of waiting.

According to Dr. Opiyo, Census is a priority national development programme. It is not activity. He noted that no country can develop or manage the welfare of its people, without census data.

“Without census data, anything a country is doing, is just to make up. This is why every country, including Nigeria, is trying to do whatever they can to make sure that the census process is efficient, because the outcome of that process is going to sustain the country for years to come.

“It is this census Nigeria has been waiting for. This census is a game-changer for Nigeria. It is the first fully digital census in Nigeria,” he said.

CTA pointed out that the exercise is a big responsibility, urging them to own the exercise and show unwavering commitment to its success.

Commenting, the Director of Census, Mrs. Evelyn Arinola Olanipekun, charged the participants to be conscientious and pay rapt attention to all the topics.

The FCT State Director, Hadiza Jega, thanked the NPC Chairman and his entourage for the visit, adding that this will serve as a morale booster to the participants to do their best.

One of the participants, Ms. Janet Ehimika, while speaking on behalf of the participants promised that all methods and processes will be followed to ensure they provide reliable data from the exercise that will help in planning for the main Census in 2023.

However, it would be recalled that during the Press briefing for Trial Census, the Chairman of NPC, had announced that 14,461 enumerators and facilitators would be engaged during the Trial Census. The number comprises 13,461 hired enumerators and 1,000 facilitators.

Hon. Kwarra explained that the Trial Census, which is also known as the “census dress rehearsal”, is another key preparatory activity for the main census scheduled to take place in April 2023.

NPC Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, addressing participants at Government Secondary School, Gwagwalada, training center for Trial Census 
NPC Chairman and his entourage at the Trial Census training center in Gwagwalada, FCT