By Peter Duru – Makurdi

The National Population Commission, NPC, has commenced the second Pre-Test of Population and Housing Census in Benue state ahead of the coming 2022 national census.

The NPC Federal Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Mrs Patricia Kupchi who made this known Wednesday in Makurdi to announce the commencement of the exercise said the full mobilization to the field and the actual pre-test commenced December 3, and to end December 10, 2021.

According to her, the exercise would hold in four Local Government Areas, LGAs of Logo, Gboko, Otukpo and Konshisha in 12 Enumeration Areas and would involve 41 field functionaries “and to ensure inclusivity in the process moving forward, the Commission has directed that one enumerator or supervisor from each state must be a person with disability which we have complied with in Benue state.”

Mrs Kupchi said: “The conduct of pre-test is aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires, and data collection methods, the manuals for field staff, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.”

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She assured that the exercise “is part of the preparation of the Commission to lay good foundation for the next Population and Housing census which will be credible, reliable and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders.

“And in making this commitment, the Commission is conscious of the important role of the pre-test in the process of authenticating and updating the Enumeration Areas (EADs) in preparation for the next census.

“We would like to caution that the Pre-test is not the actual census but the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census. All efforts must be geared towards making it a huge success by all.

“I, therefore, wish to appeal to the respondents in the selected LGAs and EAs to extend maximum cooperation to the interviewers and answer all the questions truthfully.

“All information volunteered will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will not be divulged for any other purpose. I also wish to appeal to the State Government, Local Government Councils, our respected traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders to support the commission in this noble endeavour.”

Mrs Kupchi commended Governor Samuel Ortom, the people and government of the state as well as security agencies for cooperating and providing valuable support to the commission to ensure the success of its programmes in the state.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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