The Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, has advised Nigerians to take full ownership of the conduct of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census, to ensure that verifiable and accurate data is realized, for all rounds development of the country.
Dr. Abari, handed down the advice at a one-day National Population Commission, NPC, State Level Capacity Building Workshop on 2023 Population and Housing Census, held in collaboration with the NOA.
It had as its theme ‘Getting People Involved.’
The workshop which took place at the Industrial Training Fund Conference Hall in Awka, was organized for the Management and Field Officers of the two sister organizations.
Represented at the Workshop by his Chief Press Secretary and the Public Relations Officer of NOA at the National Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Paul Odenyi, the NOA boss described the theme of the event as very apt.
He said with the involvement of NOA in the conduct of the 2023 census, especially in the areas of mobilization and sensitization aspects of the exercise, Nigerians will witness a new dimension in the history of conducting Census in the country.
“I want to urge the participants to be very serious with the workshop.
“You must also work towards taking the message of the next year’s Population and housing Census to all length and breathe of the State.
“You must target the Traditional Rulers, Presidents-General, Market Leaders, Religious Heads and other stakeholders, so that they would be educated on all they need to know about the Census.
“It is only when they aware of the importance of the exercise and the roles expected of them to play, that they can effectively play such roles.
“It also then that they can assist in convincing their subjects to participate as they ought in the exercise,” he said.
Abari stressed the need for the people to see the exercise as their own project and take full ownership of it.
According to him, the data realised from the census must be reliable and accurate so that government economic plans will not be hinged on false statistics.
Earlier in his address, the Federal Commissioner, representing Anambra State in the National Population Commission, Abuja, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke, said the NPC’s collaboration with NOA was designed to complement the advocacy and publicity activities being carried out by the Commission at the National and State Levels towards holistic implementation of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in all States across the country, including Abuja.
Speaking on the aim of the Workshop, the Anambra State Director, National Population Commission, Awka, Town Planner Dr.Joachim Ulasi, maintained that the essence of the Workshop was to educate the NOA Management and Staff on the methodology and the process for the 2023 Population and Housing Census as well as to leverage on the nationwide and grassroots reach and structures of the Agency in publicity campaign of the Census.
He opined; “The NOA has been identified as a critical stakeholder in the mobilization of citizens because of its spread across the country.
“It is the belief of NOA that the collaboration with NOA will help demystify the myths and misconceptions around census especially in Anambra and other parts of the Southeast, where the last census witnessed serious apathy.”
For the NOA State Director, Barrister Charles Nwoji, the conduct of the 2023 Population and Housing Census is highly technology-driven, calling on the Community Orientation and Mobilization Officers of the Agency in the twenty -one Local Governments in the State to take the message of the workshop down to the grassroots so that the people would be fully aware of the Census exercise.
He challenged Nigerians to regard the overall success of the Census as a collective task, with a view to rewriting the history of the country this time around.
The Workshop which was attended by the Management and Local Government Controllers of the NPC and their counterparts in the NOA, featured lectures on the Process and Methodology of the 2023 Population and Housing Census by Mrs Chinyere Maduagwuna of the Commission, Digital Mapping and Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) for Census by State Director of the NPC, Dr. Joachim Ulasi, among others.