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Census: We can’t afford repeat of 2006 experience in Anambra – NPC

By Emma Elekwa, Onitsha

National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra State has solicited for cooperation of residents of the state towards successful conduct of ongoing Enumeration Areas Demarcation (EAD) in the state.

Federal Commissioner of the Commission in Anambra State, Mr Chidi Ezeoke made the appeal at a press briefing on commencement of field work for first pre-test for Population and Housing Census.

He said the state could not afford to have another ugly experience it had in the last census exercise where many persons were not counted in certain areas of the state following cases of insecurity.

He said, “During the last census, there was insecurity in Onitsha and that resulted in many running away for their lives and people were not counted. That’s why population in Onitsha South and North are around 135,000 and 145,000 respectively.

“In as much as we desire to be independent, let’s be counted first so we can determine our numbers in Anambra and South East in general. But if we don’t partake in the headcount, we can’t know our population.

“For instance, people are clamouring for more political wards, and we’re carrying out political mappings with satellite imagery for the entire state, in collaboration with INEC. When these wards are populated, then the politicians can confidently determine the exact figures in their wards.

“That’s why it’s important we corporate with the headcount so we can get the proper and accurate data so we can enjoy the full dividends. The next census should not pass us by the way 2006 did.”

Ezeoke explained that the exercise which would be carried out in three Local Governments of Awka South, Ekwusigo and Dunukofia, was aimed at testing the census methodology, questionnaire and data collection methods, manuals for the field staff, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.

“The exercise is to access the quality of Enumerations Area maps already created, understand the demographic and geographic changes that occured in the Enumeration Areas in 2016 – 2018 and how their implications census enumeration, and to assess the educational and other qualifications of potential census enumarators as well as logistical support from both the states and LGAs,” he added.

Appreciating stakeholders’ assistance in providing logistics in terms of accommodation and transportation for field functionaries as well as respondents enlightenment, the NPC boss assured that information tendered would be treated with utmost confidentiality.

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