‘Census exercise was meant for development, not a contest or competition’ – FG

The Federal Government on Wednesday reiterated that the forthcoming 2023 census was not a contest or a competition like the just concluded 2023 elections.

The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Publicity Committee, Dr. Garba Abari noted that Nigeria wastes so much time on elections, saying the 2023 polls have come and gone.

He spoke in Lagos alongside other members of the committee while briefing newsmen shortly after a town hall held in the state to sensitise critical stakeholders on the forthcoming exercise.

Other members of the NPC Publicity Committee who spoke at the briefing included the Director-General, Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the federal commissioner, representing Oyo State and chairman, public affairs committee of the commission, Hon Eyitayo Oyetunji, and the Director of Public Affairs of NPC, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya

Abari described the forthcoming housing census as an important national event which must be given adequate attention more than what was given to the elections, saying despite that the 2023 polls had come and gone, reports on the election still dominate the media spaces.

“This is an important national event that affects each and every one of us and requires the participation of all. We must get it right this time around.”

The VON DG on his part said the census exercise was meant for development and not a contest or competition.

“It is not a contest between one state and others or one local government and others. It is not a contest between Yoruba or Hausa; Hausa and Igbo. It is not a contest between Christianity and Islam.”

Oyetunji said, “We focus too much on the electoral process. Census is a very important tool for any government to succeed. Who are the people I am serving? Where are they and what do they need? This census is coming at a very critical time. The census figure will be a tool for the incoming government. This census is for all of us, not for the outgoing government or incoming government alone.”

He noted that without accurate information, the government would only be throwing resources into the drain.

“Therefore we must work together to make sure this exercise succeeds so that the government can use the figure to plan. The housing census is aimed at establishing how many households we have and the living condition of the household, what are the infrastructures available to them?”

(Daily Trust, excluding headline)

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