The National Population Commission (NPC) on Thursday commenced another round of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise in 16 local government areas (LGAs) across 15 states of the federation.

The Chairman of the commission, Mr Eze Duruiheoma, told newsmen on Thursday in Abuja that at the end of the current exercise on March 24, NPC would have demarcated a toal of 103 LGAs in 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that the commission had previously demarcated 87 LGAs in all 36 states of the federation including Federal Capital Territory .

According to the NPC chairman, the remaining 671  LGAs will be covered under subsequent EAD programme.

Duruiheoma added that the NPC had deployed 40 demarcators, 10 supervisors and two quality control assistants for the ongoing EAD.

He said that the commission would use personal Data Assistants (PDAs) devices for collection of spatial data capable of detecting errors and preventing manipulations, overlapping, oversized and undersized EAs.

He said that commission planned to establish and maintain a national framework including locality list and house numbering for future censuses in line with its mandate under Sction 24 of 1999 Constitution.

“It is our expectation that after the present demarcation activities are fully completed, what will be required for future censuses will only be updating.

“More significantly, the EA frame will be a great source for MDAs, NGOs, Research Organisations and other bodies worldwide as a direct data source or frame for socio- economic surveys.

“It is in this regard that the commission will continue to deploy sophisticated technology in carrying out EAD and the methodology for demarcation which is designed to achieve full Geographic Information System (GIS) compliance.

“The high resolution satellite imagery which covers the entire country is used to ensure that no area is left un-dermacated and no place is duplicated.

“And the methodology will also not allow for creation of imaginary EAs and any attempt to include non – existent households and buildings in the EAs will be easily detected,” Duruiheoma said.

He said that the commission was constantly updating its methodology that enabled data collection in a more and efficient user friendly manner.

Duruiheoma lauded the commission’s collaboration with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which had produced base maps for INEC Registration Area (RA) boundaries.

The chairman said that this was the first time that RA boundaries maps were produced and recognised on ground.

Duruiheoma said that the EAD was not the enumeration of persons and its outcome would not determine the population of any area but rather for dividing the country into small geographical areas to facilitate enumeration.

He appealed to states and local government councils, traditional institutions and communities in the affected areas to support and allow demarcators unfettered access to places and areas to be demarcated.

He also urged them to assist in sensitising people on essence of the project and allow the staff carry operate professionally in order to give the nation foolproof EAD frame that would form the basis for a successful census outcome.