The National Population Commission (NPC) on Monday organised a meeting for Rivers stakeholders in Port Harcourt to broaden state level support for the successful conduct of the 2023 population and housing census.
In an address of welcome, a Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission, Dr Ipalibo Harry, said the event marked a majour milestone in the journey towards the first ever digital census in Nigeria.
He said it would provide the opportunity to proactively engage the people of Rivers and get some positive feedback and invaluable cooperation support to ensure successful conduct of the exercise in the state.
The federal commissioner said that the objective of the meeting was to create public awareness on the conduct of the 2023 census, including its imperatives, methodology and timeliness.
Harry said that the summit with the theme, “getting people involved” was also meant to promote robust and informed conversation on the processes and procedures for the 2023 census.
He said it was organised to solicit the cooperation and support of state level stakeholders for the conduct of the exercise.
“The goal of census taking is to ensure that the results are acceptable and credible hence the need for engagement with the stakeholders to get their feedback on the instruments and enrich the process,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the Deputy Governor of Rivers, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, commended the commission for organising the event adding that it was timely.
Harry-Banigo, represented by Mr Ben Robbert, the Director of Administration, Office of the Deuty Governor, stressed the importance of census, saying it would enable good planning and enhace good governance.
The deputy governor said that the country should endeavour to get the April 2023 census right and urged Rivers people to be interested and get involved in it.
She promised that the state would provide enabling environment and other forms of support for the exercise, and also urged the people to get their PVCs and vote right during the 2023 general elections.
Also in his goodwill message, the Chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, King Douglas Jaja, said the country’s last census figure had remained a subject of controversy.
The Amanyanabo of Opobo called on the commission to ensure that everything was done right for Nigeria to have an accurate census figure this time around.
Jaja promised that traditional rulers in the state would mobilise the people and ensure that they fully participated in the exercise.
“We appeal to all to be part of the exercise,” the Amanyanabo of Opobo said.
Papers presented by experts during the summit included “International Standards and Best Practices in Modern Census-Taking,” Digital Mapping for 2023 Census” and “Census Processes: Methods and Innovations in 2023 Population and Housing Census.”
Our correspondent reports that ignitaries in attendance included heads of security agencies, top government functionaries, Local Government Chairmen, traditional rulers, among others.
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