The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has assured Nigerians that the technology to be deployed in the conduct of the 2023 census cannot be manipulated.
The Director-General of NOA, Garba Abari, gave this assurance during the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday, while urging Nigerians to ensure that they’re counted during the conduct of the 2023 National Population and Housing Census.
The NOA boss said the technology to be deployed for the exercise would facilitate its credibility and acceptability, and “will make it difficult for anyone to manipulate the process.
“No doubt, the exercise will be different from previous ones because we are advancing through the use of modern technologies,” he said.
The country is getting set for national population and housing census in May. The last time Nigeria had a census was in 2006.
Mr Abari, who is a member of the National Publicity and Advocacy Committee on census, said that the exercise is due to begin on May 3.
He, therefore, appealed to the media to help in educating Nigerians about the importance of presenting themselves for the headcount when it begins.
He said; “I urge Nigerians to participate fully in the exercise so as to avail the country of the benefits that can be derived from the population and housing census.
“Nigerians, please remember you count, so come out and be counted. Census is for all of us and census is for development and development is all we need.”
While highlighting the importance of census to national planning and development, he emphasised the need for accurate figures that would be credible and acceptable, saying “in this day and era, we cannot be planning on the basis of conjectures.”
He added that so far, every building in the country had been coded for the purpose, assuring Nigerians not to expect manipulations in the forthcoming census.
He expressed the commitment of NOA to mobilise Nigerians for the exercise through robust sensitisation.
He said the federal government’s consideration of the 2023 census as a priority programme in spite of challenges confronting the country underscored why Nigerians should participate in the process.
He added that, “we will ensure that all Nigerians are well informed to be properly counted.
“We need to sensitise the population to know the importance of the national population census.
“This is for the purpose of planning, legislative representation and insecurity that will reflect the peculiarity of our national demography — men, women, youths and children per local government, state and geo political zone.
“Be assured of the commitment to conduct a credible digital census in the country,” Mr Abari said.