Ahead of the National Population and Housing Census, the Federal Government through the National Population Commission (NPC), on Thursday held a Stakeholders’ Workshop in Ekiti State to sensitize people on the flag-off Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), warning that there would be a strict penalty for inducement of the field officers of the commission engaged in the enumeration.
The NPC which described the EAD exercise as key activities for the forthcoming population and housing census added that phase 11 of the exercise would commence in Ikole and Ilejemeje Local government Areas of the state.
The Federal Commissioner representing Ekiti at the commission, Mr Ayodeji Ajayi said that the commission had adopted a meticulous and gradual approach to the next population and housing census.
According to him, the NPC had earlier demarcated over 361 local government areas in all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and six LGA’s in Ekiti State including Ido-Osi, Irepodun /Ifelodun, Oye, Ekiti East, Gbonyin and Efon.
“The commission is establishing and maintaining a national frame including locality list and house numbering for future censuses in line with the mandate of the commission under section 24 of the third schedule of the 1999 Constitution.
“I want our people to embrace these people that will be coming to our areas for this all-important task. Let me say that you will be committing an offence if you offer enumerators money. Don’t give them money for anything.”
Ayodeji added that the expectation of the commission was that what it would require for the future census will be to update products from EAD, saying that the product can also be used by other agencies of government to facilitate their activities in the area of effective planning.
In what appears to be a marked departure from the previous census exercises, the NPC Commissioner said that the commission has deployed sophisticated technology to achieve full Geographic Information System (GIS) compliance, saying, “High-resolution satellite imagery will be used to ensure that no area is left un -demarcated or no place is duplicated.”
On why the commission is deploying sophisticated technology, the NPC chief said that it was to avoid the controversies generated by the previous census so as to avoid manipulation and cheating.
Ayodeji, therefore, solicited the support of the state government, the affected local government areas, as well as, the traditional rulers for a hitch-free exercise.
According to him, “for the avoidance of doubt, permit me to state clearly that the EAD exercise is for planning purposes and not the enumeration of persons living in the country. Its outcome will not in any way determine the population of any community, local government or state.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, pledged the support of the state government to a hitch-free exercise.
Egbeyemi who urged the NPC and its enumerators to do a thorough job that will not lead to any crisis advised the citizens to cooperate and ensure the success of the programme.
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