Ahead of the April 2023 census, the National Population Census ( NPC) on Saturday trained journalists in Ondo State.
Declaring the workshop open, Chief Diran Iyantan, Federal Commissioner representing Ondo State in NPC, said that the one-day event for journalists would ensure effective reporting of the census.
Iyantan said that the exercise would capture all living human beings, irrespective of their locations and health status.
The NPC commissioner, who described journalists as critical stakeholder for effective and hitch-free exercise, expressed the need to collaborate with the media for proper information dissemination and result-oriented exercise.
According to him, media professionals are very important partners in the progress of the exercise.
He, therefore, urged the media to help the commission to educate the populace on the need to cooperate with NPC enumerators and give them the needed information.
Also speaking, Mr Oluyemi Falusi, the state Director of NPC, said that the census would proffer solutions to the myriad of challenges confronting the country.
Falusi, while noting that the commission had been transparent in its preparation for the exercise, gave assurance that everybody would have access to the commission’s situation room with a view to making the exercise credible and acceptable.
He said that with the result of the census would engender a fair and equitable distribution of the country’s resources.
According to him, Nigeria’s population censuses have been conducted at irregular intervals longer than the United Nations’ recommended 10 years.
He explained that the irregular and long interval of census taking in Nigeria had denied the nation the huge benefits of comprehensive baseline data for evidence-based decision-making.
According to him, the 2023 census will be computer-driven and will capture all residents of the country as well as map out houses with their status.
He added that the exercise would give the country good data that will enable the government to address insecurity, unstable economy and yearnings of Nigerians on different issues.
The NPC state Director noted that the commission had started underground enumeration area demarcation since 2015.
“The total number of functionaries to be trained and deployed for the 2023 Census is 786,741, consisting of 623,797 enumerators, 125,944 supervisors, 24,001 Data Quality Assistants, 12,000 Field Coordinators, 1,000 Data Quality Managers, 1,639 Training Centre Administrators and 59,000 LGA level facilitators.
“We are appealing to the media practitioners to help the commission in sensitising the populace and reporting the exercise appropriately,” he said
Also, Dr Funmbi Olowookere, the Head of Census Department of NPC in the state, disclosed that the exercise would be paperless and asked media to give a good support to achieve outstanding results.
Olowookere said that population and housing census must be taken seriously and handled with care.
According to her, the media and the NPC must be on the same page for a successful and acceptable exercise.
Mrs Odunayo Santos-Olubayode, the Head of Public Affairs Department, NPC in the state, appealed that reporting activities of the exercise be done professionally to ensure quality and quantity of media contents on the coverage.
Santos-Olubayode asked media professionals to always seek clarification from the commission whenever in doubt on any issues before publishing.
In his speech, Mr Leke Adegbite, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council, commended the NPC for the training.
Adegbite, who promised the union’s support, said that the 2023 census would receive good media attention.