Government prepares ahead of next Census

Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

The Chairman of National Population Commission NPC, Mr Eze Duruiheoma has stated that the commission would begin a mop-up exercise ahead of next year’s population census in Nigeria.

In an interview with VON, Mr Duruiheoma explained that head count was expected this year, but was hampered by poor preparations.

The NPC Chairman said the commission has however put in place measures to hold the exercise in 2017, but would soon begin with a demarcation exercise this year, in order to sample the process and ensure that adequate information are received when the official exercise is flagged off.

‘’Demarcation process is a way of demarcating the units that will form the operating units for the purpose of counting. If you want to carry out an exercise like counting Nigerians, you don’t just sit down at one corner, you must identify the people in their locality and the process is called Demarcation,’’ he said.

He stated that the commission would test-run the exercise in some parts of the country.

‘’We have picked about twenty-nine local government across the country for the demarcation exercise in order to know the shape the exercise will take next year.’’ he explained.

Giving his reasons for the decision to take on the twenty-nine local government, Mr Duruiheoma maintained that it was in a bid to understand the intricacies of head count and to also test some newly procured devises for the exercise.

‘‘You have to understand the need to take those areas because you are dealing with people and you must know them better. Also, there are new technology on trial and we must test the devise in smaller area so as to give you idea on what to meet at the larger exercise.’’

He said that the commission would deploy electronic devises in the exercise so as to ensure safety of information.

’We are going to deploy electronic capturing machine to capture facial and finger prints,’’ The NPC Chairman said.

He charged Nigerians to give accurate information to the officials and called on community to accommodate them and ensures their safety as soon as the exercise begins.

The NPC Chairman therefore assured Nigerians that perfect head count should be expected from the commission with the biometric capturing devises, stressing that the allegation of figure inflation which was witnessed during the last census in 2006 would not resurface again.