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Population and Housing Census 2023, No Going Back, We Are At The Final Review Stage

Population and Housing Census 2023, No Going Back, We Are At The Final Review Stage

…As Leadership NPC AKS Meets Media Executive

…We Will Adopt All Media Arsenal For Census Publicity – Media Executive

By Saviour Ekpe

The interface between the leadership of the National Population Commission, Akwa Ibom State and media Executive in the state gave rise among many other issues an extensive deliberation on the issue brought by the Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission, Akwa Ibom State, Chief (Engr.) Benedict Ukpong, FNSE (Okete Okete Oro) on the need for the State Government to inaugurate strategic Census Committees such as Security, Logistics as well as Publicity in the state as that of the National and other states of the federation have already been successfully done, “Media campaign was intensified while collaboration with stakeholders was strengthened through the inauguration of Census Publicity Committees at national, in other states and Local Government Areas”.

Stakeholders were of the opinion and strongly called on the State Government led by Pastor Umoh Bassey Eno to be more proactive in setting up the committees for the purpose of effective sensitization of its citizens on the forthcoming Population and Housing Census (PHC) as it is done in all other states of the Federation, noted that Akwa Ibom State as an integral part cannot be isolated or denied the opportunity. While deliberating on it, stakeholders said that it is the responsibility of the committee to adopt various means by the state and local governments to reach out to the people in their localities in their respective languages and dialects for proper understanding of the expectation, obligations as well as responsibilities before and during the census exercise and to explain benefits of the census to individual, community, local government, state and the nation at large.

Addressing a cross-section of media executive in the state, the Honourable Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission, Akwa Ibom State, Chief Benedict Ukpong gave strong reasons to buttress his point that NPC is ready for the conduct of 2023 population and Housing Census in the state, “the Commission has carried out all the preparatory activities towards the census such as the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), conduct of pretests and trial census, recruitment and training of census field staff. Procurement and configuration of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), establishment of ICT infrastructures across the country, logistics support, advocacy and publicity activities. Also, the Commission has rented and in some cases renovated and furnished existing offices in the Local Government Areas in the State to provide a conducive working environment for the Census exercise. Similar renovation work had been carried out at the State Office of the Commission with the installation of 24 hours internet service and solar electric power in line with the requirements of a completely digital and green Census.

“The processes and systems put in place for the census are therefore being currently reviewed to determine what needs to be done to ensure that the preparations do not become obsolete for the census. The recruitment of the ad-hoc workers had been completed before the postponement through a rigorous online process in which over 25,000 workers have been screened and approved for the Census exercise in the State…training of certain categories of personnel before the announcement of the postponement. These training include the facilitators at national, zonal and state levels, Data Quality Managers, Training Centre Managers, Monitoring and Evaluation Officers The next categories of personnel to be trained are the Supervisors and Enumerators.

“The Commission has acquired Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) and other equipment for the 2023 Census. Over 2,000 pieces of the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), generators, power banks, and other materials had been delivered to the Commission in the State and are securely warehoused in the State in readiness for the exercise Also, we have distributed the needed materials to the Local Government Area Offices of the Commission in the State We have made adequate arrangement for the storage and security of this equipment to prevent damages and theft”.

The questions and answers session was moderated by a media guru, Dr. Udeme Nana. Present among them were heads of both public and private media organizations in the state, Mr. Amos Etuk, the Akwa Ibom State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists while the Director, National Population Commission, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Emmanuel Edem gave a welcome remark.

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