The National Population Commission’s (NPC) Nasir Isa Kwarra has urged social media influencers and bloggers to mobilize the youth population in order to encourage them to actively participate in the population and housing census in 2023.
In Abuja on Saturday, Kwarra made this statement during a one-day interactive workshop for social media influencers and bloggers that was organized by the National Population Commission in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in order to get ready for the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
The youth are avid internet and social media users, according to Kwarra, who was speaking on behalf of the group through Alhaji Husaini Isiyaku, Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman of NPC.
According to him: “The estimation that over 60% of Nigeria’s population is under 30 and a good part of this under-16 demographic has never been captured in a census exercise.
“Moreover, that demographic constitutes the greater part of Nigerian citizens who are active internet and social media users.
“It therefore follows that, for the forthcoming 2023 National Population and Housing Census to succeed in covering the youth population, there must be clear, deliberate and effective sensitisation and mobilisation strategies designed to reach that important youth segment of our society.
“Such strategy should, of necessity, mainstream and robustly engage the social media and its influencers towards achieving youth inclusiveness in the census figures.
“The foregoing underscores the need for an assemblage of bloggers and social media influencers to help them appreciate the important roles they could play in mobilising the youth population to participate in the 2023 census.
“This bloggers and social media influencers’ conference is proposed on the premise that the buy-in of such strategic persons would manifest in their promotion of the census on their various platforms and ultimately translate into massive youth participation in the census.”
Commenting on the preparations made so far by the Commission to ensure accurate and reliable census, the NPC boss, said the Commission had made significant progress in preparation for the Census.
He further stated that, “We have successfully completed Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), conducted two pre-tests and Trial census, trained facilitators for the census and other preparatory activities are presently going as we speak.
“These efforts have laid the groundwork to ensure that the census succeeds and is implemented according to best practices.
“In addition, the Commission has developed a Census Strategic Plan and Implementation Strategy detailing a whole range of activities to be carried out in the pre-census, actual census, and post census stages.
“Our vision of the 2023 census is to produce accurate, reliable and acceptable census with an all inclusive user-friendly data.”
In his remarks, the Director General of the National Orientation Agency(NOA), Dr. Garba Abari, underscored the importance of population and housing census, saying that the exercise would help Nigeria to plan and achieve sustainable development.
Abari represented by Mrs. Theresa Maduekwe, a director in NOA, said the Agency was irrevocably committed to carry out sensitisation and mobilisation campaigns across the length and breadth of the country.
He therefore, tasked all Nigerians to join hands with the Commission to make 2023 census exercise a resounding success.
Responding to questions from participants, Dr. Isiaka Yahaya, Director of Public Affairs Department in NPC, affirmed that insecurity plaguing some parts of the country would not prevent NPC personnel from carrying out the census exercise.
Yahaya observed that in spite of the insecurity plaguing the country, that the NPC through its dogged determination and unwavering commitment was able to carry out Enumeration Area Demarcation and pre-census trials across the country.
Quoting a research conducted by NOA in December 2022, he pointed out that 84 per cent of the respondents across the country were already aware of the forthcoming census.