2ND CENSUS PRE-TEST EXERCISE BEGINS ACROSS THE 36 STATES OF THE FEDERATION AND FCT

The National Population Commission Chairman Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra said that the 2nd census Pre-test will commence today in all the 36 States of the Federation and FCT to end on December 10, 2021. It will take place in 444 Enumeration Areas (EAs) in 148 LGAs across the 36 States and FCT that were demarcated during the 7th phase to the last phase (17) of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise.

He stated this during the Press Conference at the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja yesterday. NPC Chairman in his address noted that the Pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census preparatory process which provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census programme and instruments in advance of the main census, thus ensuring the smooth operation and success of the exercise. “The conduct of Pre-test is aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires, data collection methods, the manual for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census,” Kwarra emphasized.

He stressed that the census Pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise and that the Pre-test is not the actual census but the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census. NPC boss appealed to the respondents in the selected LGAs and EAs to extend maximum cooperation to the interviewers and answer all the questions truthfully. “All information volunteered will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will not be divulged for any other purpose.”

He urged the State Government, Local Government Councils, respected traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to support the Commission in this noble endeavour.

The event has in attendance the Chairman, Members and Staff of the Commission and Pressmen from different media houses.

Read the full address below…

PROTOCOLS

It is my pleasure to welcome the distinguished gentlemen of the press to the headquarters of the National Population Commission for the press briefing on the conduct of the 2nd Pre-test exercise for the next Population and Housing Census exercise. Pursuant to our mandate to conduct a census, the Commission has almost concluded the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) activity with 772 LGAs successfully demarcated from the pilot phase to the completion of phase 17 EAD exercise, with only 2 LGAs outstanding. Census pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise, In essence, the Pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census preparatory process which provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census programme and instruments in advance of the main census, thus ensuring the smooth operation and success of the exercise.

As it is the tradition with the Commission, it has become imperative to start this important exercise with a press briefing to among other things apprise members of the press and the public of the essence and methodology for the conduct of the 2nd Pre-test exercise. Being the veritable organ for information dissemination and moulding of public opinion, it is our hope that the media will be in the vanguard of the efforts to mobilize the general populace for the successful conduct of the fieldwork as well as assure the people that the Commission is on course to execute this important mandate.

I. INTRODUCTION
In order to effectively enumerate all Nigerians within a reasonable period, it becomes imperative to divide the whole landmass of the country into small units that can easily be covered by a team of enumerators during the enumeration exercise. This, in essence, constitutes the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) which is one of the core preparatory activities for the census exercise. The conduct of Pre-test is aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires, data collection methods, the manuals for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census. In this pre-test exercise, some selected Enumeration Areas (EAs) in 4 selected LGAs in all States of the Federation and FCT demarcated between 2014 (pilot phase) to 2021 (final phase) of the EAD will be involved. In other words, a total of 148 LGAs will be involved in the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT and the census instruments will be deployed to these areas to test run their suitability and readiness for the actual census.

II. AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE 2ND PRE-TEST
The objectives of the 2nd Pre-test include among others, to assess the :
• Suitability of questionnaires/forms,
• Clarity of concepts, instructions and contents of census instruments,
• Use of the EA maps for the Census,
• the workload on each team of enumerators and supervisors
• logistics support from States and LGAs,
• Adequacy of techniques adopted for advocacy/IEC for the Census,
• the relationship between EAD estimated population and 2nd Pre-test population
• adequacy of the data capture method, etc.

III. FIELD FUNCTIONARIES & SAMPLE FRAME
The 2nd Pre-test exercise will take place in 444 Enumeration Areas (EAs) in 148 LGAs across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT that were demarcated during the 7th phase to the last phase (17) of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise. It will involve over 1000 field functionaries comprising 888 Enumerators, 4 Supervisors per State, 37 IT Supervisors, 37 Field Coordinators, 37 State Coordinators, 37 GIS support, 6 Zonal GIS data administrators among others. To ensure inclusivity of the census process moving forward, the Commission has directed that one enumerator or supervisor from each State must be a person with a disability.

The Training of the Trainers (TOT) workshop was conducted between November 17 to Nov. 22, 2021, while the State training followed immediately after and will end today December 2, 2021, across the country. The full mobilization to the field and the actual Pre-test will commence tomorrow December 3 to end on December 10, 2021.
As already stated, the sampling methodology has been designed to test run and confirm the viability and effectiveness of the already Demarcated Enumeration Areas (EAs) in readiness for a smooth census exercise.

IV. 2021 PRE-TEST DATA COLLECTION
Let me emphasise that, the fieldwork and data collection for the 2nd Pre-test which will commence tomorrow in all the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT will be carried out by 37 teams (one team per state/FCT).
Note: The list of the Enumeration Areas, LGAs and States where the Pre-test will be made available to all our friends from the media immediately after this briefing.

V. CONCLUSION WITH AN APPEAL
I wish to end this address on a note of assurance that the conduct of the Pre-test is part of the preparation of the Commission to lay a good foundation for the next Population and Housing census which will be credible, reliable and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders. In making this commitment, the Commission is conscious of the important role of the pre-test in the process of authenticating and updating the Enumeration Areas (EADs) in preparation for the next census. We would like to caution that the Pre-test is not the actual census but the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census. All efforts must be geared towards making it a huge success by all.

I therefore at this juncture, wish to appeal to the respondents in the selected LGAs and EAs to extend maximum cooperation to the interviewers and answer all the questions truthfully. All information volunteered will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will not be divulged for any other purpose. I also wish to appeal to the State Government, Local Government Councils, our respected traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to support the Commission in this noble endeavour. We shall continue to appreciate the assistance of these stakeholders in enlightening the respondents particularly in the selected States/LGAs/EAs as well as in the areas of logistics in terms of accommodation, guide and transportation for the field functionaries.

May I emphasise to Nigerians that the Enumeration Area Demarcation mop-up exercise is still ongoing in some areas that have issues. I want to place on record that the co-operation with the field functionaries by Nigerians and other stakeholders has been very overwhelming. Particular mention must be made of the generosity of the State Governors, the LGA Chairmen, the Lawmakers, security agencies and the community leaders and even individuals in providing invaluable support and assistance to our field officers to ensure that our activities proceeds quite smoothly. I plead that the tempo of support should be sustained until this important assignment is concluded on a pleasant note.

While thanking Nigerians for their support, the Commission wishes to assure all that every necessary step has been taken to ensure that field functionaries are properly kitted and trained to observe all the Covid-19 protocols throughout the period of the Pre-test exercise as prescribed by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC). We implore members of the public to also observe all the protocols.

I thank you for your kind attention.

Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra
Chairman, National Population Commission