By Garba Shehu
The first phase of Census 2023— the trial House listing and House numbering took off officially in selected local government areas of the country today, Wednesday with President Muhammadu Buhari blessing the exercise, urging officials to justify the confidence of the government by returning accurate, verifiable and dependable data.
To mark the commencement of the exercise, the National Population Commission (NPC) accredited President Muhammadu Buhari at his country home in Daura, Katsina State.
“I am happy you have started the process, and congratulations. I know this will require a lot of time, skill and stamina,” President Buhari told the team from NPC led by the Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra.
After the digital capturing, the chairman explained the modalities and technicalities of the Population and Housing Census to the President.
Kwarra said President Buhari had been designated number one on the list, from Daura, Katsina, and his house was also the first.
The chairman said the trial commenced with the President, followed the conclusion of the training of the field functionaries for the Trial Census exercise, who will begin the fieldwork of the Trial Census from 13th to 30th July, 2022 in the selected Enumeration Areas and Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the 36 States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said the Trial Census, also known as the “census dress rehearsal”, was one of the pre-census activities to evaluate all aspects of the census operation before the main census on a limited scale.
“It is a process in which all census operations are tested in a detailed and comprehensive manner to assess the level of preparedness of the Commission to conduct the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
“The Trial Census shall cover a total of 7681 Enumeration Areas (EAs) in the 36 States and the FCT. Six LGAs have been selected from the six selected States in the six geo-political zones of the country for full population enumeration while forty-five EAs in nine LGAs cutting across three senatorial districts were selected from each of the thirty States and the FCT for enumeration,” he added.
The Trial Census fieldwork includes, building numbering and household listing from 13th to 15th July, 2022; validation of EA frame from 16th to 18th July, 2022; person’s enumeration from 19th to 25th July, 2022; and enumeration mop up from 26th to 30th July, 2022.
As part of the exercise, Enumerators are expected to visit all residential and non-residential buildings within the selected Enumeration Areas and number the buildings and enumerate members of households in the buildings.
At the end of the trial census exercise, the NPC expects to take away lessons on their chosen methodology, work load, challenges of data collection in peculiar areas and the education as well as the adequacy of the preparation of their enumerators.
@views exclusive rights: Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President
on Media and Publicity, July 13, 2022.