CEM REPORT, GOVERNANCE | One of the challenges that have confronted Nigeria on its path to development is knowing how many we truly are, actual gender make-up and geographical concentration since these figures are very essential towards developing quantifiable short and long economic plan as a nation.
The process of conducting a credible census is no doubt a tedious task following the controversies that trailed the figures of the last census conducted in 2006 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration with special regard to geo-political and States figures.
While there are insinuations of deliberate manipulation for ethnicity bias, the use of manual method can be majorly responsible for the controversial results. If controverses and contentions must be forestalled ahead of the result of the 2023 census, there must be a complete shift to digital process or at least digitally enhanced process of the census.
The Nigerian Population Commission, in furtherance of their resolve to digitize the 2023 census has begun the series of training required for the process with the Train the Trainer workshop held in Abuja on Monday.
Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, Executive Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), acknowledged fully the importance of the training since upgrade of knowledge on terms and processes is most essential in the whole venture.
He said the training would offer the participants a clear understanding of what to expect during the census proper. He, therefore, stressed the need to properly train the facilitators who would in turn train the supervisors and the enumerators at the zonal and state levels.
“Training Plan provides a clear understanding of what must happen to meet the training requirements that have been defined.
“As such, it is important that functionaries, staff and ad hoc staff are trained in the knowledge and skills required to support their responsibilities, the processes and technology to be used during the census,” he said.
The chairman who explained the importance of training in a digital census, said that it was imperative to utilise a digitally skilled workforce.
According to him, the objectives of the Training of the Trainers (TOT) workshop was to prepare the top-level trainers for a standardised census training.
“Adequately teach the concepts and definitions for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
“Provide clear guidelines for the field enumeration procedures for the population and housing census.
“Provide robust instructions on the use of the census data collection applications and provide first-hand guides for the census field operation.”
Dr Ipalibo Harry, Federal Commissioner for Rivers, assured Nigerians of a credible and reliable census. He therefore urged Nigerians to ensure they were counted for a data-based national planning.