Ahead of the April 2023 headcount in the country, the National Population Commission (NPC) has conducted a trial census in Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State.
According to reports, the exercise, which started on July 20, will end on Saturday.
The Executive Chairman of NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, while monitoring the exercise, said Imeko Afon was chosen as the pilot area for the trial census in the South-West geopolitical zone of the country.
The chairman said the challenges recorded would serve as lessons for the commission to improve on the performance of the general census.
The exercise was also monitored by the Federal Commissioners of the NPC from Bayelsa, Enugu, Ekiti, Taraba, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States.
Kwarra, who spoke through the Federal Commissioner of Oyo State, Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji, disclosed that over 800 functionaries were deployed for the exercise.
Speaking at a town hall meeting of residents to evaluate the success of the exercise, Kwarra explained that the purpose of the trial census was to test the instruments and methods to be adopted for the main census next year.
He assured the residents of the town that the exercise would not be in vain, “as both the Federal and Ogun State governments will take cognisance of the needs of the town as enumerated by the exercise”.
He hinted: “The trial census is a dry rehearsal and from what we have done here, the outcome has shown that our methodology is not only working, but it is successful.
“With this preparatory activity, we are matching on with confidence that the 2023 census will be accurate, reliable and credible.”
In any exercise, he admitted, there are challenges. Adding, he said the challenges they have seen would serve as lessons that “We shall use even to improve the performance of the main census”.
The traditional ruler of Imeko, Oba Olalekan in his address, urged the commission to prevail on the Federal Government to ensure that the Imeko community is accorded more FG’s presence in the scheme of national development.