As the preparations for the 2023 Population and Housing Census gain momentum, the National Population Commission has assured of the Commission’s preparedness to conduct an all-inclusive census by counting and mapping special populations and locations.

The Chairman of the National Population Commission, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, gave the assurance while declaring open the training of trainers for the identification and mapping of special population groups across Nigeria in Mararaba, Nasarawa State.

He said the experience had shown that the enumeration of special populations usually constitutes a significant challenge in censuses.

NPC Chairman noted that this is due to the unique nature of their settlement, occupation, or other characteristics that make them special compared to regular or institutional populations.

According to him, it is critical that, as the Commission prepares for the 2023 Population and Housing Census, members of these groups must be identified on time, wherever they are as well as their locations mapped and geo-referenced into the national frame, to ensure adequate planning is made for their enumeration during the census.

Hon. Kwarra, explained that it was also crucial that the exercise provided important socio-cultural and qualitative information, adding that it would facilitate planning for publicity, logistics and for the enumeration of the groups.

He said the data expected from the project included the location of special populations within the localities in all local government areas.

The Statistician-General of the Federation and CEO, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Prince Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran, described the identification and mapping of special populations as very critical to national planning.

Adeniran, who commended the NPC for such an assignment, said mapping of special populations was in accordance with the mandate of the household survey.

According to him, it is the data provided by the NPC that would be relied on for household surveys.

Adeniran advocated a stronger collaboration between NPC and NBS for the conduct of a reliable and accurate census.

Executive Secretary, National Commission for Nomadic Education, Bashir Usman, represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Rose Nwaji lauded the Commission for recognizing nomads in the next census.

Moreover, these special populations include; homeless households; homeless persons; nomadic households; transient persons; migrant fishermen; migrant farmers; mobile hunters; and refugees/internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The opening ceremony also had in attendance the Honourable Federal Commissioners, Acting Director-General, Directors and Staff of the Commission; the Chief Technical Adviser for Nigeria 2023 Census, Dr. Collins Opiyo, representing UNFPA Resident Representative, Ms. Ulla Mueller; and the representative of the National Social Safety Net Coordination Agency (NASSCO) under the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

The NPC Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra and the Statistician-General, Prince Semiu Adeyemi Adeniran with other stakeholders at the workshop