As the country prepares for 2023 census, Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has emphasized the need for all stakeholders to consider synergizing as a means of driving a successful and acceptable census.
The Governor also made commitment of his administration to partner with National Population Commission ( NPC ) in “creating enabling environment for the 2023 Census to take place in Ondo State and ensure that everyone is counted” .
Governor Akeredolu who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa made the commitment at the Stakeholders’ Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census, organized by National Population Commission held in Akure.
His words, “with all the preparation steps put in place, the journey towards the 2023 census is obviously on course”
According to him, “population data is critical to development planning and any government desirous of achieving development strides needs to know how many people require basic amenities such as light, water, schools, housing, health facilities and education” .
“No country relies solely on its estimated population because such estimates ignore the demographics unearthed by census data which are needed for national planning purposes”, he explained.
Frowning on the country’s inability to conduct population census in the last 16 years, the Governor declared, “it has become imperative for the country to conduct another national census to produce a new set of demographic and socioeconomic data that will provide the basis for national planning and sustainable development”.
Emphasizing the need for efficient collaboration amongst stakeholders, the Governor solicited for the support of critical stakeholders especially civil society organizations that would be playing major roles such as advocacy, enlightenment of the society on the need for accurate and acceptable census.
Earlier in his opening address, the Federal Commissioner Representing Ondo State at National Population Commission, Prince Oladiran Iyantan said Nigeria must get it right in 2023 as far as census is concerned.
“In 2023 Census, everyone will be counted in the right way, at the right place and time, and for the benefits of all persons resident in Nigeria”, he said.
He equally assured the people that the” commission is committed to ensuring that the results of the census are acceptable to Nigerians and the quality of the data to be generated meets international best standards for planning and development purposes” .
“In line with the United Nations principles and recommendations for the 2020 rounds of Population and Housing Census, the 2023 Census will be fully digital and the commission has deployed technology to conduct the exercise and enhance data quality” , he assured.
In his own remarks, Ondo State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan said impactful development is based on accurate and acceptable population.
“Accurate population form the fulcrum for development and planning, so let’s ensure that what really counts, is the number of Nigerians” , he advised.