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National Population Census Expert recommends political will for process

Besides, Okai advised government to provide "environmental accessibility and friendliness’’ for a successful national headcount.

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A National Advocacy Officer, Dr Haruna-Aku Okai, Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (PPFN), has recommended political will as part of a seven-point agenda for a successful conduct of national census.

Okai told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday that the Federal Government should increase funding and ensure timely releases of such fund for the conduct of the headcount.

He noted that inadequate "money supply, inflation rate, energy availability and cost, as well as Naira devaluation and revaluation’’ were some of the challenges hindering census.

"The Federal Government must ensure adequate and prompt funding for the census to achieve demographic dividends,’’ he said.

According to him, the National Population Commission (NPC) mandated with the responsibility of conducting census should also engage skilled staff and recruit quality enumerators for the success of the exercise.

"The NPC was expected to conduct the census this year (2016), but for obvious reasons the exercise cannot hold,’’ he noted.

The expert also pointed out that political instability had affected the conduct of census in the country and recommended for legal and stable polity as a panacea.

Besides, Okai advised government to provide "environmental accessibility and friendliness’’ for a successful national headcount.

He also urged the NPC to adopt new Information and Technology (ICT) developments to conduct a credible and acceptable census.

Furthermore, he enjoined the NPC to consider the socio-cultural lifestyle changes of citizens and other societal and environmental variables in planning for the census.

READ: NPC director laments challenges from area boys

Okai also urged Nigerians to support the government to conduct a successful headcount for national development purposes.

Meanwhile, the NPC has said that shortage of time and materials to prepare well was the main reason why the commission shifted the proposed 2016 National Population Census till 2017.

The Chairman of NPC, Mr Duru-Iheoma, made this known to newsmen in Abuja, saying "the quest for credible, fair and effective conduct of census’’ caused the postponement.

Duru-Iheoma added that NPC was yet to receive Federal Government proclamation for the 2016 population census.

This notwithstanding, he said the commission was conducting pre-census activities like Enumeration of Area Demarcation (EAD) in the six geo political zones and Abuja for the successful conduct of the exercise.

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