January 7, 2021

Akwa Ibom govt tasks NPC on proper census figures for national development

Udom Emmanuel

Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel

By Harris Emanuel

As the National Population Commission of Nigeria gets set to embark on its Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise, the Commission has been urged to see the exercise as the fundamental bedrock of any credible national headcount.

Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom, Moses Ekpo stated this,  while addressing officers of the National Population Commission at the Phase Eleven Enumeration Area Demarcation  (EAD) camp, held at Abak local government, noting that no nation can make any meaningful development without a proper and reliable census figure.

Underscoring the importance of the EAD exercise, Ekpo, a former Federal Commissioner with the National Population Commission was emphatic that given the challenge of the nation’s population and the need for accurate data for planning, the present exercise has become very germane to the issue of development in Nigeria.

He said that during his time, the Commission for the first time had sworn to produce a credible figure of the number of people in Nigeria, rather than depend on estimates from international organizations, in order to fast track development, adding that for a very long time after the British census, no census in Nigeria had ever been accepted even by Nigerians.

“The success, the credibility of any census for any country largely depends on the pains you have taken to ensure the Enumeration Area Demarcation is absolutely correct and right.”

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He pointed out that no nation can develop by guess-work or estimates as the government has to depend on accurate census figures to plan for the development of the country or state.

He, therefore, commended the NPC officials for making a sizeable contribution to Nigeria’s development by paying attention to the details.

The Deputy Governor said unless there was proper EAD, those doing the real census would find it difficult to count, adding that the work of the  EAD Officials was absolute of great importance for the good of the nation.

“You cannot develop with guesswork, you plan with actual numbers.

“We are tired of being given estimates and I believe that the next census would provide a credible and reliable census for Nigeria,” he emphasized.

The deputy governor urged the Enumeration Area Demarcation Officials to be diligent with their work as it could “make or unmake Nigeria”, assuring that the Akwa Ibom State government was keen in the success of the exercise in the state.

“We are not living any stone unturned, we will not stop supporting the Commission to succeed”, he stated.

Ekpo also noted that Akwa Ibom has been under-counted for years and drew attention to the industrial revolution in the state as well as the free education policy of the State Government which he explained has attracted many foreigners to the state.

The Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Akwa Ibom State, Benedict Ukpong announced that 10 phases of the EAD exercise have so far been successfully executed in the State covering eleven Local Government Areas with enormous support from the state government.

Ukpong said the Commission at the national level has taken adequate steps to carry out the demarcation exercise in preparation for the next Population and Housing Census in the country.

The Commissioner, however, appealed for support from the State government and other stakeholders to successfully carry out the Phase 11 of the exercise covering Abak, Etim Ekpo and  Ika Local Government Areas.

He disclosed that the remaining phases 12 to 17 would commence from January 29th to August 30th, 2021.

Speaking, the Special Adviser on Political and Social Re-orientation,  Elder Amanam Nkanga urged the officers of NPC to be thorough with the exercise in the State and leave nothing to chance.

Nkanga thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for his support towards the successful execution of the exercise in Akwa Ibom State.

The State Director of NPC, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Emmanuel Edem and State Coordinator for Phase 11 EAD, Alhaji Madiu Zakari were also in attendance.

Vanguard News Nigeria