Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has tasked the National Population Commission, NPC on the need to conduct a very credible census in 2023.
Soludo harped on the need for the commission to provide the country with reliable, acceptable and credible data that can aid effective and efficient planning.
Soludo made the call during the Stakeholders’ Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census, which held in Awka on Tuesday, under the theme “Getting the People involved”.
The governor said: “You can’t plan without statistics. If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it. I want our people to take this census seriously because going forward, it will aid in national development.
“We have to know how many people we are planning for. Each community should have an accurate data of its residents.
“I should be able to call on Traditional Rulers and President-Generals to tell me how many residents are in their communities. The purpose of Government is for the greatest good for the greatest number.
“We focus on communities that have the greater numbers because we are serving the people. The National Population Census has lots of work to do. Your promise to offer a digital, reliable, credible and acceptable data is a good thing.”
Soludo said the numbers that would be gotten from the census will help government to plan, while also knowing the nationalities, state of origin and even religion of people resident in a geographical location.
He said, “We are itinerant people, our people live everywhere, but during the festive season, we have more people returning back home. I need to plan and know the number of people I’m planning for because from time to time, they must come home.”
“For some unknown reasons, we have been afraid to confront the truth. People throw numbers and extrapolate. The truth is we don’t know the number of people we are planning for.
“The 2023 census must not be another opportunity missed. I’m glad it will employ full digital means. Those who disrupted the last census and said our people shouldn’t be counted should cease from such act because it cost our people dearly. Population is one of the criteria for sharing national resources.”
The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke who spoke during the event said through digital mapping, the commission hopes that every area in the country will be captured.
He harped on the need for people to avoid movement during the census exercise, saying that security agencies would restrict movement during the exercise.