2023 Census: NPC to deploy over one million ad hoc staff

THE FEDERAL Commissioner representing Benue State at the National Population Commission (NPC), Patricia Kupchi, says the Commission has engaged and screened over one million workers ahead of the 2023 census exercise.

Kupchi also stated the Commission had acquired about 500,000 Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), which had been configured and delivered across the 36 state offices and Abuja ahead of the census.

Speaking on Tuesday, June 13 at a one-day breakfast meeting and briefing with media executives organised by the Commission in Makurdi, Kupchi said that the one million personnel had been found capable and qualified to participate in the national counting.

While assurng that adequate arrangements had been made for storage and security of the equipment to prevent damages and theft, the Federal Commissioner said preparatory activities had been carried out to ensure a smooth running of the exercise.

She said, “The Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), the conduct of pre-tests and trial census, recruitment and training of census field staff, procurement and configuration of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), the establishment of ICT infrastructures across the country and logistics support and advocacy and publicity activities.

“For example, the EAD, which involved the division of the country into small land areas, was meticulously undertaken in such a way that only an update will be required for future censuses. Using satellite imageries, the enumeration areas were all geo-referenced with the coordinates of all the buildings established.

“The products of the EAD are currently being used by other government agencies. The recruitment of the ad hoc workers had been completed before the rescheduled census through a rigorous online process in which about one million workers have been screened and found worthy of the assignment. The database of all the recruited personnel, including their contact details, are available for the next census. The reserve personnel will be available to handle cases of attrition. The Commission had commenced training certain categories of personnel before the announcement of the rescheduled census.”

Acknowledging the values of human and material resources expended in the preparatory activities, Kupchi noted that the most important task ahead of the commission is sustaining and reinforcement of the resources towards the successful conduct of the 2023 Census.

According to Kupchi, “The processes and systems put in place for the census are being reviewed to determine what needs to be done to ensure that the preparations do not become obsolete for the census. The focus of the Commission is to ensure that all the resources expended so far are safeguarded, and that the nation does not need to start all over when the census is to be conducted.

“For us at the Commission, this is not a difficult task. In coming up with the plan for the 2023 Census, the Commission was not only looking at the immediate needs of delivering the next census, it was also concerned more with laying a solid foundation for future censuses. This mindset informed the scope and quality of arrangements put in place.”

She stressed that the Commission had carried out massive advocacy and publicity for the 2023 census at national and state levels.

Similarly, at a media breakfast on June 13 in Ilorin, the NPC Federal Commissioner for Kwara State, Abdulrazaq Gidado, assured Nigerians that the 2023 population and housing census project would hold this year.

Gidado stressed that technology deployed for the first digital census exercise in the country would make alteration of figures difficult.

He emphasised that the result of the census would form part of efforts towards actualizing an accurate, verifiable and acceptable data for planning and development of the country.

The ICIR had reported that the NPC chairman, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, disclosed it had spent over N200 billion on preparations for the 2023 national housing and population census.



    Isa-Kwarra disclosed that the money was spent mostly on printing of census materials and training of ad hoc staff, among many other miscellaneous expenses.

    He stated that although N800 billion was budgeted for the census, the Federal government allocated only N224 billion for the exercise.

    “What we’ve been able to expend is about N200 billion. So the N800 billion is a budget and that budget covers the cost of conducting census in Nigeria. It is not that government has given us N800 billion but it is a budget and we believe that we may spend up to that or we may not spend up to that.

    “To be straightforward, the Federal government has actually provided N224 billion, which we have utilised for the census so far,” he said.

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