The Federal Commissioner representing Benue State at the National Population Commission (NPC), Mrs. Patricia Kupchi, has disclosed that significant progress has been made in preparation for the upcoming 2023 census in Nigeria. With the acquisition of 500,000 Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and the screening of over one million capable workers, the NPC is geared up for a successful and efficient census exercise. Mrs. Kupchi emphasized the importance of safeguarding the resources expended thus far, aiming to prevent the need for starting the census process from scratch in the future.
NPC’s Preparatory Activities:
The NPC has diligently carried out a range of preparatory activities in anticipation of the 2023 census. These include the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), pre-tests, trial census, recruitment and training of field staff, procurement and configuration of PDAs, establishment of ICT infrastructure, logistics support, and extensive advocacy and publicity campaigns. The Commission’s comprehensive approach aims to lay a solid foundation for future censuses, reflecting a forward-thinking mindset.
Importance of the EAD:
One of the key achievements of the NPC is the meticulous execution of the Enumeration Area Demarcation. Through satellite imagery and precise geo-referencing, the entire country has been divided into small land areas, ensuring accuracy and facilitating future updates. The EAD products have proven useful to other government agencies, showcasing the wider impact of the NPC’s work beyond the census itself.
Screening and Recruitment Process:
The NPC has already completed the screening and recruitment of over one million workers, who have been deemed capable and ready for deployment during the 2023 census. This rigorous online process ensures that only qualified personnel are selected, and their contact details have been compiled in a comprehensive database. The Commission has also designated reserve personnel to address any attrition issues that may arise.
Training and Capacity Building:
To ensure the smooth execution of the census, the NPC has undertaken extensive training and capacity-building initiatives. Various categories of personnel, including facilitators, data quality managers, training center managers, and monitoring and evaluation officers, have already undergone training. The next phase will focus on training supervisors and enumerators, further enhancing their readiness for the census operation.
Advocacy and Publicity Efforts:
Recognizing the significance of public engagement, the NPC has conducted extensive advocacy and publicity campaigns at both national and state levels. Collaboration with stakeholders has been strengthened through the establishment of Census Publicity Committees, while widespread media campaigns in multiple languages have disseminated census messages effectively. The Commission remains committed to ensuring that the census remains a central topic in national discourse.
Media Commitment and Partnership:
In response to the NPC’s briefing, media executives from the print and electronic media pledged their commitment to collaborate with the Commission in ensuring the successful conduct of the census. This partnership between the NPC and the media is essential for promoting awareness, encouraging participation, and fostering transparency throughout the census process.
The National Population Commission (NPC) has made substantial progress in its preparations for the 2023 census. With over one million workers screened and found capable, along with the acquisition of 500,000 Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), the Commission is well-equipped for a successful deployment. The NPC’s meticulous approach, emphasis on future-proofing, and extensive advocacy efforts demonstrate its commitment to conducting a comprehensive and accurate census. As Nigeria looks ahead to this landmark event, the nation can be confident in the NPC’s readiness to carry out the first-ever digital census.
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