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Gov. Soludo of Anambra

Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo has tasked the National Population Commission (NPC), on providing reliable, acceptable and credible data ahead of the 2023 National census to aid effective and efficient planning.

The Governor made the call at Awka, the State Capital during the State Stakeholders’ Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

The event which had the theme “Getting the People involved”, was organized by the National Population Commission in collaboration with the State Government.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Soludo stressed on the importance of planning.

“You can’t plan without statistics. If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it. I want our people to take this census seriously because going forward, it will aid in national development. We have to know how many people we are planning for. Each Community should have an accurate data of its residents.

“I should be able to call on Traditional Rulers and President-Generals to tell me how many residents are in their Communities.

“The purpose of Government is for the greatest good for the greatest number. We focus on Communities that have the greater numbers because we are serving the people.

“The National Population Census has lots of work to do. Your promise to offer a digital, reliable, credible and acceptable data is a good thing.

“We as Government need this number to help us plan. While having numbers of residents, we will like to know their Nationalities, State of origin, tribe and religion.”

Speaking further, Governor Soludo called on the people of Anambra State to cooperate with the census officials and ensure they get counted.

“Our people must be wise. Everyone needs to step out to be counted. We shouldn’t repeat our past mistakes. Our people should get prepared. Once the time for census is approaching, those who needs to return back home should do so. Our Traditional Rulers, PGs, Women and Youth Leaders should assist in sensitizing the people. Anambra shall be great,” Governor Soludo stated.

Speaking before presenting the Governor with the 2023 Population and Housing Census document and decorating him as ‘Census Ambassador’, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke spoke about digital mapping which will help all areas in the country and the need for people to avoid movement during the census exercise.

Mr. Ezeoke maintained that it is the duty of security agencies to restrict movement and advised that people should stay in their residence from the census night till after the exercise is completed.

He noted that the summit marks a major milestone which would help the commission to engage Anambra people and get feedback for a credible census in 2023.

The Federal Commissioner expressed his deep appreciation to Governor Soludo for his support towards the digital enumeration which has been carried out and provision of land at Enugwu Agidi for building of NPC State Office.

“The Governor is a source of inspiration to the Commission for a credible and reliable census. Our objective is to create public awareness about NPC methodologies and timeline, provide robust information to the public and solicit cooperation for the conduct of the census. The goal is to ensure the results are digital, credible, reliable and acceptable”.

In a goodwill message, Anambra State Director, National Orientation Agency, Barrister Charles Nwoji commended the National Population Commission for their synergy with State Government to drive the message to the people.

He promised to utilize their structure and personnel in the 21 LGAs of the state to support the 2023 population census.

“We are aware of the harm inaccurate data has caused and intend to change the narrative by using our available platform to get families and groups counted. By adopting a more scientifically approach, we will espouse the best practices towards the exercise. An adequate enumeration will be a source of national pride. We take it as a challenge that our people are duly counted,” he said.

The Chairman Anambra Traditional Rulers Council and Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred queried how enumerators refused to do their jobs unless their conditions are met which include provision of accommodation and other logistics during the last census, stressing that Communities had to bear the cost.

The National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Barrister Titus Akpudo in his address, hinted that census is what the government use to work, pointing out that the most important thing is to avoid repeating mistakes of the past.