Population Commission Lauds Media On Credibility and Accountability
By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka
The Federal Commissioner of the National Population Commission, NPC, in Anambra State, Mr Chidi Ezeoke has lauded the media on their efforts in assisting the commission to create awareness on the 2023 National Census despite the postponement by the previous administration.
Ezeoke appreciated the media’s credibility and accountability on Friday in Awka, the state’s capital during a one-day breakfast meeting with media executives in line with the postponement of the 2023 population and housing census exercise in the country.
He listed the progress made so far for the success of the exercise before it was suspended.
According to him, the postponement was for the new administration to oversee the exercise because of its importance to economic planning and national development.
He said the commission is ready whenever the Nigerian Government okays it.
Ezeoke was optimistic that President Tinubu would declare a new date for the national census, soon.
He said; “We are laying the foundation for the forthcoming census being the first ever digital type in the country. We are hoping the new government will take advantage of it for proper planning and development.”
Ezeoke also appreciated the Anambra State government for its preparations and assistance.
On his part, the Anambra State Director of NPC, Dr Joachin Ulasi, emphasized that preparations for the exercise started as far back as 2014.
He noted that the 21 Local Government Areas, LGAs, in Anambra State have been properly demarcated for the success of the census exercise, and also appreciated the media for supporting the commission.
Briefing the audience, the Head of Technical, NPC, Mrs Chinyere Mmaduagwuna, said that the exercise is fully digitalized and that indigenously produced software would be used for the headcount to enable the commission to generate reliable data for development planning in Nigeria.
The Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Nwosu, said, “I am aware of the chains of meeting the Commission has had with the government, including the enlightenment campaign targeted at educating the public before the postponement was announced.
“But it is a good thing it has to be suspended for the new administration because if they had done it at the twilight of the out-gone administration, it would have been tantamount to a stampede, particularly given the importance of the exercise.
“Census is not something you do in a hurry. I want to believe that when the Census will be held eventually, it would be holistic and done the way our counterparts hold theirs.
“All those targeted to benefit from the exercise would be captured and every sector will have a take-away. It will also offer the commission the opportunity to plan better and perfect the exercise,” he explained.
Nwosu commended NPC for organizing the event, describing it as a demonstration of its confidence in the media to assist and offer the nation a credible and reliable headcount.
“I would have been surprised if this kind of event is not holding given the number of efforts both the government and commission have put in trying to ensure a successful census, especially in Anambra.
“Today’s engagement is a demonstration of the importance the Commission attaches to the role of journalists in the exercise. It is also an opportunity to hear from the horses mouth that the exercise was not cancelled, but shifted,” he said.
The question and answer session and the apt Interaction between the authorities of the commission and the media climaxed the occasion.