By Adegboyega Segun
The Executive Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has commended President Muhamadu Buhari (GCFR) for approving the National Population Census(NPC) for 2023.
The Governor represented by the Deputy Governor, Chief Edward Onoja, made the commendation during the Kogi State National Population Commission and Stakeholders’ Summit in the Glass House, Kogi State Government House, Lokoja.
Speaking further, Chief Onoja stated that the President’s decision demonstrates the Federal Government’s commitment to laying a solid foundation for evidence based and demographic data for national planning and development.
He solicited the support of critical stakeholders for the NPHC, pointing out that Kogi State is going to benefit maximally from the exercise, stressing that the information vacuum due to lack of census for 16 years has been problematic for demographic and economic data.
He expressed his optimism that the forthcoming NPC would enable the government to deliver more dividends of democracy to the people and make Kogi State safer and more prosperous for permanent and transit citizens.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Hon. Evangelist Kingsley Fanwo, described the National Population Census as a critical part of national development as it entails planning for the citizens , emphasizing that the census figure of 2023 NPC would be digital to ensure credibility.
He commended the Federal Commissioner in the state for chemistry of agreement, pledging adequate security before, during and after the exercise as the Governor has promised to follow-up any case of insecurity, promising to galvanize the Government Media Houses to mobilize the grassroots’ sensitization mechanism for information dissemination.
The Federal Commissioner for Kogi State NPC, Professor Isah Jimoh and the State NPC Coordinator, Mr Ojo A. Titus, in their different speeches, appreciated Governor Yahaya Bello for his financial and logistic support that enables the NPC personnel to efficiently and effectively perform their duties, appreciating the press for keeping the public abreast of the programmes, adding that the NPC methodology is at par with that of advanced countries, stating that census is an essential ingredient in politics adding that it is cheaper to participate in census than to criticise its figures.
The Obaro of Kabba and Chairman Okun Area Traditional councils, HRM Oba Solomon Ayodele, on behalf of the traditional rulers expressed his confidence that technology would reduce or eliminate controversies in population figures, calling on NPHC to ensure that the exercise is devoid of corruption and should not be hijacked by political heavyweights. stressing that the world relies on population statistics for planning and implementation, praying to God for the success of the 2023 NPC.
Highlight was the declaration of the technical workshop of the NPC where lectures were delivered by credible and competent population experts open, by the Governor represented by his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja.