FIC Report (Abia State) – The National Population Commission (NPC) in Abia State on Thursday, organized a Capacity-Building Workshop for Census Publicity Committee in Abia as part of preparations for the upcoming Census.
Abia State Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu challenged the Publicity Committee of the National Population Commission to contribute in reflecting and redefining the estimated population figures credited to Abia State in the 2006 Census.
Sir Oko Chukwu who threw the challenge while declaring open a One Day Capacity Building Workshop on Process And Methodology For the 2023 Population And Housing Census for the State Publicity Committee held at the Bishop Anthony Nwedo Pastoral Centre (BANPAC), Umuahia said this has become necessary in respect to the estimated two million credited to Abia State which is grossly incorrect and underestimated.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Publicity Committee reminded Members of the Committee of the need to work assiduously to embark on aggressive enlightenment and sensitization programs that will change the negative narratives that had led to majority of Abia citizens boycotting previous population exercises.
He reiterates that the success of the exercise cannot be overemphasized as an accurate Census population data is not only one of the development indices Federal Government uses in appropriating revenue allocations but also aids Government in planning, ascertaining the age brackets of its citizens for the provision of adequate health care, education and basic infrastructure.
The NPC Federal Commissioner in the State, Hon. Chief Jonny Nwabuisi, stated with an assurance that every household must shun ignorance of not being counted.
Hon. Nwabuisi described the Workshop as “critical”, said the regrets of 2016 Census placed Abia State in a bad place and called on the Committee to put up a sustained Publicity and Enlightenment for the success of the exercise.
“The convening of this workshop for the State Census Publicity Committee is critical and it underscores the determination and commitment of the Commission to a successful exercise by updating the Committee on Processes and Methodology of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
“The vision of the Commission for the 2023 census is to produce an inclusive and user-friendly data that will be used by all segments of the society for development planning and critical program interventions.
The Federal Commissioner said that the Committee will be divided into Groups to access the Stakeholders and those at the grassroots movement in the three Senatorial Zones to enable everyone to be counted.
“The aspiration is to ensure that the correct population figure of Abia State and the results of the Census will be acceptable to Abians,
Nigerians and the quality of data generated meets International best practices/standards,” he said.
He called for intensive advocacy, publicity and public enlightenment of the citizens in order to inform Abians of the importance of the Census making it imperative that every Abian must be counted.
“The advocacy becomes more critical in view of the fact that the Census is taking place many years after the last Census.
He, however, appreciated the Committee members for being part of the program and urged them to work very hard to actualize the success of the 2023 Housing and Population Census through the quality sensitization on radio , television stations and print media.
Delivering her Welcome Address, the State Director of the Commission, Lady Juliana Adaku Ezebuiro said the One-Day Training was on the Processes and Methodology of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
She maintained that the Publicity Committee duty is to make sure there is positive information across all and sundry at the grassroots.
Lady Ezebuiro reiterated that the Census will be used to amend the demographic challenges that emanated from the last Census in 2006.
“The Workshop intends to increase the knowledge base of Members of the Committee to appropriately disseminate information and educate the public on the exercise”.
The Director also commended the Commission for its efforts to ensure a successful census in the State, promised that the Committee would support the processes, especially in the area of information dissemination across the 17 Local Government Areas of Abia State.
“The Committee is going to develop a Template for better coordination that will have the best and acceptable exercise not only in Umuahia, Abia State but Nigeria as a whole.
Delivering the Papers, in her own presentation titled “Processes And Methodology For 2023 Census, the State Director of National Population Commission, Lady Juliana Ezebuiro said an accurate Nigerian Census will attract profound international support, adding that the Commission ensured that the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) was mapped out professionally and scientifically to capture every house and family in the State and expressed confidence that success will be achieved.
In another presentation titled “Census Mapping And Enumeration Area Demarcation For 2023 Census, the HOD Technical, Mr Uduma Ukpai explained that the EAD also known as Census mapping and Delineation of the whole country into compact and identifiable areas stipulated for the Census exercise and disclosed that they have completed mapping out the 17 LGAs of the State and 774 LGAs across the country.
The Four Papers that were presented include
1) Processes and Methodology for the 2023 Census by the State Director.
2) Data Quality Management in 2023 Census…( DQM)
3) Census Mapping and Enumeration Area Demarcation for 2023 Census …HOD Technical.
4) Technological Innovations in the conduct of the 2023 Census…HOD PAD.
Top Govt Officials, Traditional Rulers, Stakeholders in the Population Census Exercise, Heads of Media Establishments, NCWS, CAN, Traditional Institutions and others from other walks of life attended the Workshop.