All is now set for the 2023 National Population Commission (NPC) Census scheduled to hold between 3rd and 7th May, 2023 across Nigeria.
This has become necessary following the decision of the government to have an up-to-date data of Nigerians as the exercise was last conducted 17 years ago.
The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will be long remembered in Nigeria’s history books as it is the first time a country in Africa will be witnessing a geo-data based election.
Speaking during the Press briefing on Wednesday in Lagos, Dr. Garba Abari, Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), representative of the Hon Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the commission’s partnership with the media was inevitable because of their unique roles in the society.
“Our goal is to compliment on efforts of the commission using the media to inform and educate Nigerians on the fast-approaching exercise.
“The consciousness of Nigerians needed to be reawakened, hence, media practitioners must be at the forefront of the struggle” he added.
On his part, Dr Oyetayo Oyetunji, National Commissioner of INEC noted that for NPC to achieve its mandate, the media must be involved at this critical stage to prevent the spread of fake news being peddled.
“We need the media to give accurate reportage, so that well-meaning Nigerians can be better informed on what they should know before, during and after the exercise.
“Nigerians must look beyond seeing census as mere headcount. This is because apart from the fact that census is a means to hold government accountable, it also helps government to know the living condition of the citizenry, so that there can be effective planning to better the lives of the common man,” Oyetunji said.
Osita Okechukwu, Director- General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), revealed that the 2023 census was geared towards development of the country.
“This is not about contest or competition among tribes or religions but a time to provide information that will enable government take decisions that will further develop the country,” Okechukwu said.
Stakeholders gave assurances that a lot of checks and balances have been put in place to forestall falsification of results, saying that results emanating from the headcount would be transmitted directly to the server from any location in the country.
The National Population Council (NPC) said the commission would be partnering security agencies of government to provide adequate security for enumerators for a seamlessly task.
Another highpoint of the event was the decoration of Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, Chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council as Census Ambassador.
Ajayi who received the honour with joy, appreciated the commission.
“I want to immensely thank Dr. Abari and the NPC team for this great honour.
“I can assure you that Lagos NUJ will continue to engage solely in factual reportage and dissemination of information. We are reputable and we will continue to contribute our quota to national development, ” he said.
Other members of the delegation were, Chief Chris Isiguzo (MFR), National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Mr Mufutau Ojo, representing the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN); Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, Director, Public Affairs Directorate at NPC; Mr. Gbenga Adesina, Executive Member, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and others.