NPC Assures Nigerians of Smooth Census Amidst Calls for Postponement
By Alabidun Shuaib AbdulRahman
The National Population Commission, NPC, has responded to calls to postpone the 2023 national population and housing census, assuring Nigerians that measures have been put in place for the smooth conduct of the exercise from May 3 to 7.
Recall that Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, had requested that the census be delayed due to concerns over the exclusion of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the exercise.
However, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, Director of Public Affairs at the NPC, stated that the methodology devised for the census is robust and in line with international best practices.
Dr. Yahaya explained that the census questionnaire will collect information on the usual places of residence of people in IDP camps, including where they lived before being displaced, and that this data can be used to aid planning processes for their respective usual places of residence.
He added that every land area of the country, including IDP camps, has been demarcated into Enumeration Areas (EAs), and the mandate of enumerators during the census period will be to count every person in the assigned EAs.
The aggregation of all persons counted during the census will constitute the population figures of Nigeria.
Dr. Yahaya further argued that the prevalence of IDPs should be a reason for the census, rather than a ground for postponement.
The 2023 census will generate demographic data that governments, private sectors, international development partners, and relief agencies will require to plan for the provision of food items, empowerment, and social facilities to people in IDP camps.