The National Population Commission (NPC) has been urged by Professor Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra State, to deliver trustworthy, palatable, and credible statistics prior to the 2023 Census in order to support effective and efficient planning.
The Governor made the call at Professor Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Center, Awka, during the State Stakeholders’ Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
The event which had the theme “Getting the People involved”, was organized by the National Population Commission in collaboration with the State Government.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Soludo stressed the importance of planning.
“You can’t plan without statistics. If you can’t measure it, you can’t change it!”
“I want our people to take this census seriously because going forward, it will aid in national development.
“We have to know how many people we are planning for. Each community should have an accurate data of its residents.
“I should be able to call on Traditional Rulers and President-Generals to tell me how many residents are in their communities.
“The purpose of Government is for the greatest good for the greatest number. We focus on communities that have the greater numbers because we are serving the people.
“The National Population Census has lots of work to do. Your promise to offer a digital, reliable, credible and acceptable data is a good thing.
“We as Government needs this number to help us plan. While having numbers of residents, we will like to know their nationalities, state of origin, tribe and religion.
Speaking further, Governor Soludo said, “We are itinerant people! Our people live everywhere but during the festive season, we have more people returning back home. I need to plan and know the number of people I’m planning for because from time to time, they must come home”.
“For some unknown reasons, we have been afraid to confront the truth. People throw numbers and extrapolate. The truth is we don’t know the number of people we are planning for.
“The 2023 census must not be another opportunity missed. I’m glad it will employ full digital means”. Governor Soludo emphasized
“Those who disrupted the last census and said our people shouldn’t be counted should cease from such act because it cost our people dearly. Population is one of the criteria for sharing national resources.
“Our people must be wise. Everyone needs to step out to be counted. We shouldn’t repeat our past mistakes.
“Our people should get prepared. Once the time for census is approaching, those who needs to return back home should do so.
“Our Traditional Rulers, PGs, Women and Youth leaders should assist in sensitizing the people. Anambra shall be great,” Governor Soludo concluded.