Census: Mentally-challenged, Homeless Persons Will Be Counted – NPC

The National Population Commission has said that the mentally-deranged, homeless people and every living being in Nigeria would be counted in the upcoming 2023 housing and population counting.

Prince Diran Iyantan, the NPC Federal Commissioner representing Ondo State, said this in Akure on Wednesday, at a one-day capacity-building workshop for the 2023 population and housing census publicity committee.

Iyantan, who assured Nigerians that the 2023 census would have at least 98 per cent success, explained that the purpose of the workshop was not to undermine the professionalism of the publicity committee members.

“But it is to enhance their capacity to deliver on their mandates.”

He noted that the committee was one of the most important committees to drive the exercise, due to the psyche of the public.

This, he said, was because many people were usually reluctant to subscribe to government programmes.

“Because of the importance of this exercise, our governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, thought it wise to assemble the committee with seasoned professionals to have a seamless exercise in the state.”

Speaking on the digital innovations in the 2023 census, the State Director of NPC, Mr Oluyemi Falusi, said digitisation of the census was in line with UN recommendations.

Falusi said that the 2023 exercise would be the first digital census to be conducted by Nigeria, adding that it would facilitate faster processes, reduce error, track progress, ensure efficiency and ensure prompt publication of results, among others.

He explained that the training, recruiting, deployment, conduct, analysis and publication and other processes of the exercise were fully digitalised.

Falusi also said that the 5-tier strategy being deployed for quality assurance, robust monitoring and evaluation system had been set up.

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He added that there would be a call centre and a situation room in the state to assess the daily progress of the exercise.

He further said that data analysis would be done promptly with available digital technology tools to ensure reports were published promptly.

Similarly, the Head of Census Department in the state, Dr Olufunbi Olowookere, said that the conduct of the population census in the country had been irregular.

Olowookere added that the current population figures in the country had been based on estimation and postulations, hence the need to conduct the 2023 population and housing census.

She explained that the census was needed for economic and socio-political planning and implementation of government policies.

She said Nigeria’s land mass had been demarcated for the exercise and data from the exercise could be used by experts in the health, agric, business, education and other sectors.

Speaking on how to generate media content for the exercise, the Head of Public Affairs Department in the state, Mrs Santos Odunayo, said journalists in the state had been trained to improve professional media content.

“They have also been trained to inform, educate, enhance acceptability and refute negative perceptions and wrong criticisms of the exercise.”

She noted that the media was an integral part of the exercise through the dissemination of appropriate information to the public.

She added that the commission relied on the media to gain public support and ensure the total success of the process.

Present at the workshop were the Chairman, Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Mr Olugbenga Omole; the Ondo State NUJ Chairman, Mr Leke Adegbite, and the State Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Father Anselm Ologunwa.

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