Traditional rulers pledge support for hitch free census

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The National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria has thrown its weight behind the 2023 population and housing census, while stressing the importance of conducting a hitch free exercise.

Chairman of the Council, the Etsu of Nupe Alhaji Dr. Yahaya Abubakar, stated this Wednesday when he led a delegation of the Council on a courtesy visit to the National Population Commission (NPC) in Abuja.

Abubakar noted the role of the traditional rulers to the success of the upcoming 2023 census, adding that the exercise will contribute greatly to the nation’s development. 

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According to him, without accurate data on the number of citizens in the country, it will be difficult to plan any meaningful development of the country, urging all to avail themselves when it’s time to be counted.

“Census is an important exercise that will contribute greatly to the nation’s development and this can only happen when you know how many people we have in the country. We therefore present ourselves to support the exercise from the planning stage to preparatory to the finish,” he assured.

“Just like the family where you know how many members you have and plan for them it is that same consideration with the population census, we must know the number of people before government can properly because without knowing the accurate figures planning the nation will be difficult,” he added. 

The Chairman pledged to contribute their quota to the success of the census, while also assuring that deliberations on the Census will form part of the discussions at its upcoming December 12 general assembly. 

Responding, the Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC) Hon. Nasir Isa-Kwarra, noted the importance of blessings of the royal fathers, adding that the Commission cannot get the census right without their support and blessings. 

Isa-Kwarra who noted that the last census was conducted in 2006 but for some challenges, expressed optimism that the upcoming census which is digital will be credible and accurate.

“I cannot downplay your role as royal fathers because you are the closest to the people, you are well structured to give directions down to the lowest levels in the society and we count on your support to achieve a successful Population and Housing Census come 2023,” he said.

The NPC Boss intimated the traditional rulers that much work has been achieved towards the conduct of the census,  stressing that this census will not only provide data but as well mitigate environmental factors bedeviling the nation.

“We have done 99% of the Enumeration Area Demarcation and other activities of the Commission towards the census except for a few areas with security challenges which we hope to achieve with support of the security personnel before the census next year.

“We have done the 1st and 2nd census protest satisfactorily,  we have done the trial census and we are working to correct all mistakes to ensure we have a credible census and we are also making sure that the technology does not fail us because it is key to accessing accurate data generation and that’s why we seek your cooperation to source the needed data,” he explained. 

Earlier, the Fefetal Commissioner representing Oyo state and the Director in Charge of Public Affairs, Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji, said the role of royal fathers cannot be emphasised especially as many Nigerians are skeptical about the conduct, adding that their affirmation and trust in the Commission to successfully conduct the census is a moral boost to all that the Commission will not disappoint.