NPC assures new technology’ll enhance census credibility

The National Population Commission (NPC) has assured that the introduction of new technology for the conduct of both the ongoing Trial Census and the main Census in April 2023 would add credibility to the exercise thereby removing every iota of doubt and controversy.

The Federal Commissioner representing Cross River state on the NPC Board, Navy Captain Charles Ogwa (rtd), said this in Calabar, weekend, while declaring open the state level training workshop for field personnel for the Trial Census preparatory for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.

The training, which commenced on June 27, is billed to end on July 8, 2022.

Speaking, Ogwa said, “I want to reiterate the commitment of the Commission to make the 2023 Census a resounding success through the adoption of technological innovations at every stage of the process.

“The Commission has introduced new technologies such as Census PAD and CSPro to ensure that the Trial Census really serves as a good rehearsal that will make the 2023 Population and Housing Census credible, reliable and acceptable.

“The geospatial and infrastructure data as well as the enumeration form have been uploaded on the tablet called Personal Digital Assistants (PDA). The PDA is an ultra-portable computer that can run a variety of software programs and will be used by enumerators for data collection based on CAPI Principles (Computer Assisted Personal Interviews).

“To further maintain the pre-determined objectives and processes, the commission has developed Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) instruments to assess the extent to which the objectives are being met or not and whether the processes are being adhered to or not.”

The Commissioner said the NPC was using “110 field functionaries which comprises 90 Enumerators, 9 Supervisors, 10 Facilitators, 5 monitors for the Trial Census,” explaining that “The quality of the personnel for the Trial Census has a great impact on its outcomes. Therefore, the need for the enumerators and supervisors to be properly trained cannot be overemphasised.”

According to him, “The Trial Census tests all phases of the main census, from planning to the execution of plans, logistics arrangements and management, questionnaire design and format, training procedures, field work operations, publicity, payment systems, data processing, data tabulations and analysis.”

Navy Captain Ogwa disclosed that the exercise in Cross River would “be conducted in one Supervisory Area in 9 Local Government Areas with 3 LGAs selected in each of the 3 Senatorial Districts.”

He enumerated the local government areas involved as: Bakassi, Calabar South and Odukpani for South Senatorial District; Yakurr, Obubra and Boki for Central Senatorial District; and Bekwara, Ogoja and Obudu for North Senatorial District.

For him, the objectives of the Trial Census exercise, include to critically and comprehensively “access the quality and the usefulness of the enumeration area (EA) maps that have been created; Determine the possible demographic as well as geographical changes that might have occurred in the EAS carved between 2016-2018 and their implications for census taking,” amongst others.

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