2022 Census: NPC Chairman meets El-Rufai

Asks Governor to appoint a Special Adviser on Census Matters

NPC Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra visited the Kaduna State Governor, His Excellency Mallam Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai at Government House, Kaduna to create awareness and solicit support and cooperation of the Kaduna State Government and the good people of Kaduna State for the forthcoming 2022 Population and Housing Census.

According to Hon. Nasir Kwarra “Your Excellency, the aim of this courtesy call is to create public awareness on the forthcoming census and other activities of the Commission and solicit the support of the Government and good people of Kaduna State for the success of these activities which have direct bearing on the socio-economic and political life of the people.

NPC boss was accompanied on the advocacy visit by the Honourable Federal Commissioners from northwest zone, Chairman Public Affairs Committee, some Directors, Census Manager and technical staff of the Commission. Also in attendance to assist the Governor to receive NPC team were the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Hadiza Sabuwa Balarabe, Secretary to State Government, Balarabe Abbas, Commissioners and Special Advisers among others.

Kwarra urged the Governor to appoint a Special Adviser on Census Matters to facilitate a smooth and mutually beneficial engagement between the State Government and the Commission as well as build bridges between the Commission, the State and the people for the purpose of the coming census. ” For a more sustainable partnership between the Commission and Kaduna State Government, we humbly request Your Excellency, to appoint a Special Adviser on Census Matters even as we appreciate you for your kind support through the Kaduna State Census Enlightenment Committee that has greatly assisted our field functionaries” Chairman requested.

NPC boss also appealed to the Governor to support the Commission in sensitization and mobilization of the population in the LGAs of Kaduna State; upscale the provision of adequate security for the safety of field personnel and materials as well as provision of accommodation and logistics for field staff for the next Population and Housing Census. “Implementing the ongoing Census preparatory activities, the coming census and other Commission’s mandate is cost intensive and require active involvement of the entire citizenry through enlightenment and publicity, cultivation of public ownership of the programme, creation of a conducive atmosphere, dissolving prejudices and apathy and eliciting the enthusiastic response of the stakeholders. It is definitely a task the Commission cannot undertake alone without the goodwill and support of the broad spectrum of the Nigerian society, Hon. Kwarra explained. Meanwhile, he commended the Governor for all the assistance and support he has extended and continue to extend to the Commission.

NPC Chairman noted that the Commission has intensified the preparation towards the next Population and Housing Census with the conduct of Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise in 99% of the LGAs across the States of the Federation. ” A total of 772 LGAs have been successfully demarcated across the 36 States and FCT and the demarcation of the last 2 LGAs will be completed in the next one month. The Commission has completed 99% of the Enumeration Area Demarcation in Kaduna State with only Birnin Gwari LGA remaining because of security challenge.

“Also, the Commission has concluded the 1st and 2nd Pre-test exercise which is part of the preparatory activities for the next Population and Housing Census. The Pre-test was conducted in selected Enumeration Areas in the 36 States of the Federation and FCT. Your Excellency, the Pre-test exercise is the testing of census instruments and methodology, EA maps, workload etc,” Kwarra stated.

He further said that the Commission intends to provide the nation with a robust and reliable Enumeration Area Frame which will not only serve as a good foundation for the conduct of accurate and acceptable census, but will also help form the basis for government and private sector planning, policy-making, security, equitable budget allocations and development.

However, NPC Chairman stressed that over the years the Commission has made concerted efforts to establish vital registration centres nationwide and presently it maintains a minimum of five registration centres in the 744 LGAs in Nigeria and operates in all major health facilities across the country and Kaduna State has 140 registration centres. “The Commission has embarked on digitization and automation of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) to improve the registration of births and deaths,” he said.

Governor el-Rufai in his response, pledged the commitment and support of Kaduna State Government to mobilize its citizenry and ensure successful and hitch-free census exercise in the State as census data is very important to the State for effective planning and development. He emphasized ‘Kaduna State is the third most populous State in Nigeria and updated census data will help the State to plan and improve policy-making in the State.’ El Rufai promised to use State and LGAs machineries to mobilize people of Kaduna State for the next census. On request to appoint a Special Adviser on Census Matters, the Governor promised to look into it. ‘I want to run a very slim government and Kaduna State Assembly permitted only 10 Special Advisers. I was thinking that Kaduna State Planning and Budget Commission and Census Committee would be enough in relating with the National Population Commission in data generation for planning and development but anyway, I will check to see if we still have space or maybe appoint a Special Assistant’ he stated. El-Rufai told NPC Chairman that the door of Kaduna State Government is always open and readily available to assist and support the Commission in the forthcoming census and other activities as he had a very cordial working relationship with NPC then as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory during the 2006 Census. Kaduna State Governor also commiserated with the Commission over the death of one of its staff in Kaduna State office who was recently killed by bandits.

Moreover, while fielding questions from the Press, Hon. Kwarra disclosed that President Muhammad Buhari will make a Proclamation on 2022 Population and Housing Census on 18th January, 2022. He also stated that the Commission will recruit one million, five hundred thousand adhoc staff for the next census. The Chairman also called on Nigerians to support the Commission to deliver a credible and reliable census that will be acceptable to Nigerians.

Nevertheless, Hon. Nasir Kwarra and his entourage visited the Commission’s office in Kaduna State to inspect the office facilities and boost the morale of the staff in preparation for the 2022 Population and Housing Census. The State Director, Kaduna State office, Mrs. Adama Uthman appreciated the NPC Chairman for the visit to the State office and pleaded with him to assist the family of the deceased staff, Mallam Gambo Audu Wase who was killed by bandits on his way back from official assignment along Birnin Gwari highway last December. He was a Grade Level 12 Officer in the Kaduna State Office and hailed from Plateau State.

The Chairman and his team also visited family of the deceased staff to condole with them. He presented a condolence purse to the family on behalf of the Commission and promised to employ the second son of late Mallam Gambo Wase in the Commission while other adult children of the man would be engaged as adhoc staff in the 2022 Population and Housing Census. The Permanent Secretary of Planning and Budget Commission and member of Kaduna State Census Committee, Mrs. Umma Yusuf Aboki who accompanied NPC chairman on the condolence visit also supported the late Gambo Wase family.