FEDERAL Commissioner, National Population Commission, Richard Odibo, has said the April 2023 date for the commencement of population and housing census remains sacrosanct, adding that the Commission is ready to employ 1.5 million youths to conduct the exercise, nationwide.
Odibo, who disclosed this yesterday at a press conference in Asaba to announce the end of trial census, said youths, when engaged, would enumerate all Nigerians, irrespective of their religions, tribe and dwelling places.
He said the Federal Government had approved N190 billion for the exercise and the Commission was bound to engage youths, whose age range between 25 and 35 for the exercise, because of their ability to move easily from one place to another.
“The objective of the trial census is to carry out a test run of the exercise and perfect any shortcoming that we might have not envisaged in the main census.
“It is also to be a test run of our instruments and materials required for the conduct of the 2023 national census, which include both material and human resources, logistics, building numbering, household listing, data quality monitoring and management, persons enumeration and validation of enumeration area frames.
“The Commission is strategically prepared and committed to generate data to aid planning, with all necessary steps taken to make sure 2023 census is successfully implemented.”
Odibo, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the trial census, hinted that the Commission would adopt a scientific approach at every stage for the census.
“This is because the computer-assisted personal interview (CAPI), data collection method, all major questionnaires and several other forms are embedded in the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) that will be used.” Odibo said.
He urged Nigerians to make themselves available to be counted during the period of the census, promising that no one would be left behind as the exercise is meant to generate credible data for effective planning and sustainable development in the country.