Population Commission, INEC collaborate on data and information sharing

Bitrus Kozah, Abuja

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The National Population Commission in Nigeria is set to collaborate with Independence National Electoral Commission, INEC, as it embarked on the next round of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) which commenced on 1st of March and will end on the 24th of March, 2018.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Eze Duruihioma said that “the Commission is ready to collaborate with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in Nigeria to provide base maps against the backdrop of INEC Registration Area, RA, boundaries and that it is the first time Registration Area boundary maps are being produced and boundaries recognized physically on ground”.

The use of very high technology in the EAD methodology, including the Personal Data Assistants, PDAs, devices for collection of spatial data, will eliminate all human elements as the process is capable of detecting errors and preventing manipulations. The exercise is professionally undertaken in order to avoid overlapping, oversized and undersized EAs.

It is the Commission’s expectation that after the present demarcation activities are fully completed, what will be required for future censuses will only be updating,” he said.

Duruihioma explained that the EA frame will be a great resource for MDAs, NGOs, Research Organizations and other bodies worldwide both as direct data source or frame for socio-economic surveys.

“For this exercise, the commission has put in place adequate logistic arrangement for effective deployment of personnel and materials in the selected LGAs. The assistance of the Local Government Councils and traditional institutions is being solicited in the provision of accommodation for the field staff. The support of the State Governments and security agencies where the exercise is scheduled, in no small measure, ensure adequate security of personnel and materials as the fieldwork lasts.

The Commission has adopted a meticulous and gradual approach to the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise. A periodic stock – taking is done, the quality of job executed, as well as, the personnel involved in the fieldwork, constantly reviewed” he said.

It will be recalled that the Commission had previously demarcated 84 Local Government Areas in all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory under the previous Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD.

The next Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, will take place in 16 LGAs in 15 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

At the end of the Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, the Commission would have successfully demarcated 103 LGAs and the remaining 671 LGAs will be covered under the subsequent EAD programme.

A 52- person Demarcation Team consisting of 40 Demarcators, 10 Supervisors and 2 Quality Control assistants has been recruited for each of the 15 states and the FCT and will be trained from 1st to 3rd March. The actual fieldwork starts immediately till 24th March, 2018.

According to the Commission, the significance of the EAD exercise goes beyond the conduct of Census and that the plan to establish and maintain a national frame including locality list and house numbering for future censuses and surveys in line with the mandate of the Commission under section 24 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The Chairman of the commission Mr Eze Duruiheoma says “the population census is the enumeration of all persons resident in a country or a well-defined geographic unit at a particular time. In order to effectively enumerate all these persons within a reasonable period, it is imperative to divide the whole land mass of the country into small units that can easily be covered by a team of enumerators during census enumeration.”

He said that the Enumeration Area Demarcation is one of the core preparatory activities for the census exercise.

The EAD constitutes the foundation on which the entire census architecture stands. It forms the basis for both planning and execution of the census project. In the pre- census planning, the total number of EAs and its distribution are required particularly in the deployment of personnel, logistics and materials for the pre-test, Trial Census, the Actual Census and the Post Enumeration Survey.

The Chairman of the Commission further said that “the methodology will not allow for the creation of imaginary EAs and any attempt to include non-existent households and buildings in the EAs will be easily detected and that the commission is constantly updating and improving on its methodology which enables data collection in a more efficient user- friendly manner.”

For the avoidance of doubt, the Chairman of the Commission stated clearly that the EAD exercise is not the enumeration of persons living in the country and its outcomes will not in any way determine the population of any community, Local Government or State. It is just the division of the country into small geographical areas to facilitate enumeration.

He further appealed to “States and Local Government Councils, Traditional Institutions and Communities in the affected areas to support the Commission in carrying out the EAD by allowing our demarcators unfettered access to facilities and places in the areas to be demarcated.”

Nnenna.O