2023 Census Will Meet International Standards – NPC Assures

NPC Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra presenting 2023 Census souvenir to President Muhammadu Buhari during the National Stakeholders Summit at State House Conference Center, Abuja

The National Population Commission (NPC) has given an assurance that the forthcoming 2023 Population and Housing Census would meet international standards.

Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, Executive Chairman of NPC, gave the assurance in Abuja at the National Stakeholders Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census organized by NPC in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Kwarra said the quality of the data that would be generated would meet international best standards for planning and developmental purposes, adding that the 2023 Population and Housing Census would be digitized.

He said: “As you are all aware, preparations for the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census are in top gear and as part of efforts to deliver a credible and reliable census, the Commission is committed to ensuring that the results of the census are acceptable to Nigerians and the quality of the data to be generated meets international best standards for planning and developmental purposes.

“In line with the United Nations principles and recommendations for the 2020 rounds of Population and Housing Censuses, the 2023 Census will be fully digital and the Commission has deployed technology to conduct the exercise and enhance data quality.

“I wish to end this address on a note of assurance to Nigerians and our development partners that the Commission remains committed to the conduct of a credible and acceptable census that will be transformational and meet international standards.

“In the 2023 Census, everyone will be counted in the right way, at the right place and time, and for the benefits of all persons resident in Nigeria.”

To accomplish this herculean task, the NPC boss solicited the support and cooperation of all well-meaning Nigerians, adding that the National Stakeholders Summit, would be replicated in all the States of the Federation and the FCT, Abuja, to galvanize support for the 2023 Census.

He explained that the National Stakeholders Summit was convened “to proactively engage the Nigerian people and get some positive feedback and invaluable cooperation and support, so that together we can ensure the successful conduct of a credible and acceptable census next year.”

According to him, “This National Stakeholders’ Summit provides a good opportunity to discuss some of our modest and laudable achievements in preparations for the 2023 Census and to broaden the national support base for the successful conduct of the exercise.

“The specific objectives of this summit are: To create public awareness on the conduct of the 2023 Census including its imperatives, methodology and timelines;

To promote robust and informed national conversation on the processes and procedures for the 2023 Census and solicit the cooperation and support of key stakeholders for the 2023 Census.

Other objectives, he said include, “To convince citizens to submit themselves for enumeration purposes during the 2023 Census and provide a platform to offer clarification and receive feedback and suggestions on salient issues and considerations related to the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.”

Kwarra profusely thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the conduct of the next census in April, 2023 and accepting to declare open the National Stakeholders Summit and perform a public presentation of the 2023 Census Project Document.

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his address, while declaring the event open said the 2023 Population and Housing Census will help the country accurately structure its fight against insecurity and poverty.

He said the nation must seize the opportunity the census will provide to generate the parameters for planning the country’s development.The President said this in his keynote address at the national stakeholders’ summit on the 2023 census at the State House Conference Centre in Abuja.

He noted that the inability of the country to conduct a census in 16 years had created an information vacuum for national planning.

President Buhari, who acknowledged that Nigeria could rank third largest in the world by 2050, after China and India, added that a “reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census” would help the government in its development plans, especially in bolstering the social security programme that targets more vulnerable Nigerians.

He said the deployment of digital technology for the 2023 National Population and Housing Census would ensure effectiveness and more accuracy in the figures that will come out of the exercise.

“The country’s inability to conduct a population census in the last 16 years has created an information vacuum as the data from the last census conducted in 2006 has been rendered out of date for planning purposes.

“It has become imperative for the nation to conduct another national census to produce a new set of demographic and socio-economic data that will provide the basis for national planning and sustainable development.

President Buhari expressed his administration’s conviction that the National Population Commission has the commitment and capacity to deliver to the nation a reliable, credible, acceptable and successful census.

“The just concluded Trial Census, in which my household was enumerated in my hometown, Daura, Katsina State has renewed our hope and confidence in the capacity of the Commission to deliver the 2023 Census. The outcome of the preparatory activities for the main census is reassuring that the Commission is progressing in the right direction, he said

However, President Buhari called on all stakeholders to support the Commission to ensure the successful conduct of a census that will be transparent, credible and meet international standard.

The Secretary to the Government of Federation, Boss Gida Mustapha, while delivering his welcome address stated that the need to provide the nation with accurate and reliable demographic data for policy formulation and planning for sustainable development cannot be overemphasized and It is in the realization of this fact that this administration has given a practical demonstration to its commitment to build a greater and prosperous Nigeria through the conduct of a Population and Housing Census in April 2023, after the conduct of the 2023 General Election.

Mustapha said that the forthcoming Population and Housing Census must be seen as a defining national and global agenda worthy of support by all stakeholders.

The Senate President, Distinguished Sen. Ahmed Lawan, represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on National Identity and National Population, Sen. Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u reiterated the commitment of the National Assembly to work in synergy with the Executive to facilitate the smooth conduct of the 2023 Census project to generate evidence-based data that will aid in planning for the delivery of the dividends of democracy to our country people.   

The Executive Governor of Plateau State, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong, representing the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, pledged the full support of the Governors Forum to ensure the smooth and successful conduct of the 2023 Census.

His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II), the Ooni of Ife, while speaking on behalf of all Traditional Rulers, conveyed the royal blessing and unalloyed support of the Royal Fathers to sensitize and mobilize the masses to cooperate and submit themselves to be counted in the 2023 Census.

Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Nigeria, Mr. Mathias Schmale, stated the willingness of the development partners to support the conduct of the 2023 Census that will be credible, transparent and meet international standards.

Top government officials at federal and state levels, traditional institutions, media, civil society actors, religious, women and youth groups, academia, the private sector and development partners also attended the summit.

President Muhammadu Buhari and other stakeholders during public presentation of the 2023 Census Strategic Document at State House, Abuja

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