The Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, called on the National Population Commission (NPC) to conduct a credible enumeration exercise that would form the basis for equitable management and distribution of financial resources in the country.
Abiodun made this known while receiving the Chairman of the (NPC) Nasir Isa Kwarra, in his office Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, on Monday.
He noted that the population enumeration exercise is an extremely important exercise that is fundamental to the socioeconomic planning and development of the country.
The governor expressed hope that the NPC would not have a repeat of what happened during similar exercise in 2006 and ensure that everyone is counted.
“I hope we do not have a repeat of what happened in 2006, where someone will tell you, okay, I am here, we have six other people here inside my house and then you say okay, seven people, you just enumerate them without confirming. I hope this will actually ensure that everybody is counted so we can have a basis for the equitable management and distribution of financial resources in this country,” he noted.
While noting that it is important for the exercise to be credible, reliable and successful, the governor said that his administration had already intimated traditional leaders, the Community Development Associations and the civil society of the exercise.
“The census is an extremely important exercise, the last exercise was conducted about sixteen years back and we know from all indication that our population has since exploded and census is very fundamental to socioeconomic planning.
“I want to assure you that, we will support you, if needed, financial resources and human resources and any other material resources will be provided. We have already intimated our traditional leaders,our religious leaders, our CDCs and CDAs of this impending exercise. And our civil society, I am sure that they are all willing and ready to be worthy partners in this worthy cause.
“The data itself that arises thereof is very crucial to the provision of social services and provision of infrastructure, particularly in Nigeria where we have issues with transportation infrastructure, management of resources, the human resources and financial resources, and I think that cannot be overemphasized,” Abiodun stated.
Earlier in his remarks, the NPC boss, Kwarra, while noting that the Commission was highly impressed with the giant strides of the present administration in infrastructural development and urban renewal, said that the aim of the visit was to continue public awareness on the ongoing trial census which he stated was a dress rehearsal for the 2023 population enumeration exercise.
He further noted that the vision of the Commission was to become the population center of excellence and the leading demographic agency in Africa by 2024, assuring that one local government area would be fully covered in one state in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
He, however, disclosed that 7,718 enumeration areas had been selected for the trial census to test run the suitability and readiness for the actual census in 2023, not that six local government areas would be fully enumerated during the trial exercise.
“The six local government areas that will be fully enumerated are Toungo Local Government Area, Adamawa State (North-East); Daura Local Government Area, Katsina State (North-West); Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State (North-Central); Imeko-Afon Local Government Area, Ogun State (South-West); Idemili South Local Government Area, Anambra State (South-East) and Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State (South-South)”, he said.
Kwarra who also said the trial census is not the actual enumeration of persons for the 2023 Population Census, added that the outcome of the census would not form the basis of the 2023 Census.
Also the country representative of the United Nations Population Fund(UNFPA); Elizabeth Uller Mueller while noting that UNFPA is after a high quality enumeration exercise in the country sixteen years after the last exercise, said that her office had set up a Situation Room, call center and an enumeration dashboard to support the National Population Commission.