GOVERNOR Chukwuma Soludo said the disparity in the figures of people and houses in the country as captured by the National Population Commission (NPC) and other sources make it difficult for planners to have enough dependable data of the population to plan effectively.
Governor Soludo stated this at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Center, Awka, during the Anambra State Stakeholders’ Summit on 2023 Population and Housing Census.
The governor, who declared full support for the 2023 population and housing census, tasked the NPC on providing digital, reliable, acceptable and credible data during the census.
“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,” Governor Soludo 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.
The governor stressed that because people are resident in a place does not mean they are from Nigeria, adding that information like nationality, tribe, origin, religion and other details are needed to ensure adequate planning.
We as government needs this number to help us plan. While having numbers of residents, we will like to know their nationalities, state of origin, tribe and religion.
While stating that the goal of the summit is to broaden the support base for the upcoming census, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke said that the summit is a milestone towards the first ever digital census come 2023, pointing out that there will not be movement on the census day.
He maintained that it is the duty of security agencies to restrict movement and advised that people should stay in their residence from the census night till after the exercise is completed.
Mr. Ezeoke noted that the summit marks a major milestone which would help the commission to engage ndi Anambra and get feedback for a credible census in 2023.
The summit, which had the theme, ‘Getting the People Involved’ was organised by the National Population Commission in collaboration with the government of Anambra State.
Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim, Secretary to the State Government, Prof Solo Chukwulobelu, Head of Service, Theodora Igwegbe, traditional rulers led by their chairman, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, presidents general, led by President General, Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Titus Akpudo, among others, attended the event.