National Population Commission, on Thursday, clarified that the 2023 planned census is not ethnic or politically motivated.
Ogun State Federal Commissioner, Seyi Aderinokun, stressed that the Commission is not a political organisation, adding that its responsibility is to conduct census meant to generate data for economic planning.
The Commissioner who was represented by the state director of NPC, Olushola Adeleye, made the clarification at a one-day capacity building workshop for journalists in Ogun State, on effective reporting of the 2023 population and housing census.
She maintained that the Commission will physically count the Nigerian population, assuring that counting would not be done by proxy.
According to her, the census will be digital, as the Commission had deployed advanced technological tools to code buildings and land mass, detailing information such as location, landscapes, etc.
While describing Ogun State as a population convergence point, the NPC Federal Commissioner said the workshop was to train journalists on how to report census efficiently and effectively.
She added: “We are not a political organisation. We have responsibility to conduct census; it is a research that is meant to generate data for economic planning. We are not ethnic or political related or motivated.
“The census result will be verifiable and it will be digital; we are deploying technological innovation,” Adeleye assured.
In his presentation, the Deputy director of Census department, Folami Muka, said several census done in the country had been marred with different complaints because people believed they were politically motivated.
Muka, while stressing the importance of the Commission having a people-oriented exercise, expressed, “Getting the people involved to participate and own it is paramount to its overall success. However, in Nigeria, the conduct of population censuses over the years, has been fraught with many challenges due to the perception of many people as to what a population census is, or is not.
“The outcome of a population census in terms of size, has always thrown up heated exchanges between various groups within the polity, thereby adversely affecting the growth and development process of the country because the use of such data for planning for national development is always underplayed,” the deputy director remarked.
Ogun State General Manager of Nigeria Television Authority, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, meanwhile, urged the media to be veritable partners, so that the outcome will be acceptable.
Wakama insisted that having a reliable data of the country’s population would help in planning and development purposes.