2023 Census not ethnic, politically initiated – NPC

One of the facilitators, GM NTA, Abeokuta, Mrs Funmi Wakama addressing the class

THE National Population Commission (NPC) has said that the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census is not ethnic or politically motivated.

The NPC Federal Commissioner in Ogun, Mrs Seyi Aderinokun, said this at a one-day capacity building workshop for journalists on ‘Effective Reporting of the 2023 Population Census’, on Thursday in Abeokuta.

The commissioner, who was represented by the state Director, NPC, Mr Olushola Adeleye, noted that the commission is not a political organisation, saying that its responsibility was to conduct census meant to generate data for economic planning.

According to Aderinokun, the commission will only count physically present individuals, and will not count by proxy.

She also said that the census would be digital, as the commission had deployed advanced technology to code building and land mass, detailing information such as location, landscapes and others.

While describing Ogun as a population convergence point, Aderinokun said the workshop was to train journalists on how to report census efficiently and effectively.

“We are not a political organisation. We have the responsibility to conduct census; it is a research that is meant to generate data for economic planning. We are not ethnic or politically related or motivated.

“The census result will be verifiable and it will be digital; we are deploying technological innovation,” she added.

In his presentation, the Deputy Director of Census Department, Mr Folami Muka, said several census done in the country had been marred with different complaints because people believed it was politically motivated.

Muka said the commission had made it imperative to have a people-oriented exercise devoid of political inclinations.

“Getting the people involved to participate and own it, is paramount to its overall success.

“However, in Nigeria, the conduct of population censuses over the years has been fraught with many challenges due to the perception of many people as to what a population census is or is not.

“The outcome of a population census in terms of size, has always thrown up heated exchanges between the various groups within the polity thereby adversely affecting the growth and development process of the country because the use of such data for planning for national development is always underplayed,” he said.

The Ogun General Manager of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Mrs Funmi Wakama, urged the media to be a veritable partner so that the outcome will become acceptable.

Wakama noted that having a reliable data of the country’s population would help in planning and development purposes.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 30 journalists from various media outfits were present at the training. (NAN)