National Population Commission (NPC) has solicited for the collaboration of the media and other relevant stakeholders in Akwa Ibom for effective publicity of the forthcoming population and housing census in the state.
The Federal Commissioner of NPC in Akwa-Ibom, Mr Benedict Ukpong, said this in Uyo on Tuesday at a capacity building workshop for media practitioners.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the workshop was: “Effective Reporting of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.”
Ukpong described the exercise, which would be conducted between March 29 and April 2, as the first ever digital and green census.
The federal commissioner said that with optimal engagement of the media and other stakeholders, credible, reliable and acceptable census was assured.
Ukpong said that the commission had earlier carried out series of activities, preparatory to the 2023 population and housing census, such as enumeration area demarcation (EAD).
He added that first and second pre-tests as well as the trial census, where all the instruments and methodology for the exercise were subjected to credibility, integrity and reliability tests, came out successful.
“There is the need for effective collaboration and partnership with the state government and other relevant stakeholders, particularly the media practitioners in Akwa Ibom for effective publicity and propagation of census messages.
“I am optimistic that the workshop will open serious intellectual, social and informative discourse that will in turn widen our horizon.
”It will also build strong media strategies to attract the stakeholders of our dear state to be fully involved in the process, so that we can achieve the set goals and target at the end,” Ukpong said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director of NPC in the state, Mr Emmanuel Edem, said that the workshop was aimed at building a strong information system toward the success of the 2023 population and housing census in the state.
Edem said that no fewer than 20,000 functionaries would be required by NPC in the state for the exercise, while a total of 16, 000 facilitators were being trained as enumerators and supervisors.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Ini Ememobong, promised to partner with the commission by making available all the ministry’s media platforms for the dissemination of census activities.
Ememobong, who was represented by Mrs Grace Akpan, Director of Public Relations in the ministry, said that Nigerians were desirous of having a credible 2023 census, as it was very vital to government’s planning and development processes.
In his paper entitled, “How to Generate Media Content in the 2023 Population and Housing Census,” a lecturer at Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr Udeme Nana, urged journalists to intensify efforts toward reporting the census.
Nana said that a good number of the population was unaware of the forthcoming census, calling for adequate sensitisation across the state and country.
“The sensitisation should be handled as a campaign. So many people are not even aware that Nigeria will be having census in March. Adequate data is also critical for development planning,” Nana said. (NAN)