Gombe: National Population Commission begins Census Pre-Test Exercise
Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe
The National Population Commission has begun fieldwork for the 2nd Pre-Test in four local government areas of Gombe State, as part of preparations for the next Population and Housing Census.
This was made known to Journalists in Gombe, by the Federal Commissioner for Gombe State, Mr Abubakar Mohammed Danburam, who read out the message of the Chairman, National Population Commission, Mr Nasir Isa Kwarrato.
Mr Danburam said the conduct of the Pre-test was aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires and data collection methods, the manuals for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.
Although the date for the next census is not yet known, the National Population Commissioner for Gombe State said, the 2nd Pre-test, would be conducted in some selected Enumeration Areas in Akko, Dukku, Funa Kaye and Kaltungo, which were demarcated between the pilot phase in 2014 to the final phase in 2021.
Mr Danburam explained that the sampling methodology had been designed to test-run, confirm the viability and effectiveness of the already Demarcated Enumeration Areas, in readiness for smooth conduct of the next census adding that the enumeration was expected to last between December 3 and December 10, with the deployment of modern technology to conduct the enumeration, eliminate inflation of figures, ensure accuracy and guarantee full coverage of all mapped out areas.
He disclosed that the selected Enumeration Areas were in Akko, Dukku, Funa Kaye and Kaltungo in Gombe State, demarcated between the 2014 pilot phase to the final phase in 2021 would be involved.
According to him, the personnel to be used had already been trained, consisting of 24 enumerators, six reserved enumerators, four supervisors, 1 field Coordinator, one Technical or State Coordinator, two Geographic Information systems, GIS, Officer, one ICT personnel, two monitors for Gombe State.
The Federal Commissioner said the objectives of the 2nd Pre-test was to assess the suitability of the questionnaires or forms, clarity of concepts, instructions and contents of census instruments, the use of the Enumeration Area maps for the Census, among others.
“The workload on each team of enumerators and supervisors logistics support from States and LGAs, Adequacy of techniques adopted for advocacy/IEC for the Census, the relationship between EAD estimated population and 2nd Pre-test population Adequacy of the data-capture method etc,” said Mr Danburam.
He said the commission had directed that one enumerator or supervisor should to a person with a disability in each state, to ensure inclusivity of the census process.
“Census pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise, In essence, the Pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census preparatory process which provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census Programme and instruments in advance of the main census, thus ensuring the smooth operation and success of the exercise,” the Federal Commissioner explained.
He said it had become imperative to divide the whole landmass of the country into small units that could easily be covered by a team of enumerators during the enumeration exercise.
Mr Danburam gave the assurances of the commission that the conduct of the Pre-test was part of preparations by the Commission to lay a good foundation for the next Population and Housing Census, which would be credible, reliable and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders.
According to him, the Pre-test was not the actual census, but the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census. The Commission is conscious of the important role of the pre-test in the process of authenticating and updating the Enumeration Areas (EADs) in preparation for the next census.”
He said all efforts should be made to ensure the success of the programme, thereby appealing to the respondents in the selected LGAs and EAS to extend maximum cooperation to the interviewers and answer all the questions truthfully.
“All information volunteered will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will not be divulged for any other purpose. I also wish to appeal to the State Government, Local Government Councils, our respected traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to support the Commission in this noble endeavour,” Mr Danburam added.
He, therefore, called for the cooperation and assistance of stakeholders in enlightening the respondents, particularly in the selected States/LGAs/EAs, as well as in the areas of logistics such as accommodation, guide and transportation for the field functionaries.