The Chairman, National Population Commission (NpopC), Hon Nasir Isa Kwarra, on Tuesday, said the trial census earlier scheduled to begin on June 27, 2022, has now been shifted to July.
He said the development was due to delay in the arrival of equipment required for the exercise.
The Chairman made the disclosure at the launch of the call centre for the 2023 population and housing census situation room at the Commission’s headquarters, Abuja.
“Trial census is going to take place early in July. The equipment arrived a bit late but it is just for a number of days,” he said.
Also, he said the call centre became imperative to ensure a platform for constant interaction between the Commission and the public, through which information can be obtained, clarified and feedback received on the census process.”
According to him, the inauguration of the Call Center ahead of the actual enumeration of persons in April 2023 indicates the commitment of the Commission to conduct a people-oriented 2023 Population and Housing Census.
He disclosed that the Centre is equipped with, “modern Information and Communication technology facilities for video conferencing, emails and telephony to facilitate effective communication for the success of the 2023 Population and Housing Census.
“This call centre will serve as the information hub for seamless interface between the Commission and members of the public before, during and after the Census exercise.”
Kwarra further assured that beyond Census, the equipment will be deployed for civil registration like birth, death, marriages among others.
Earlier, Ulla Elisabeth Mueller, UNFPA Resident Representative, said in spite of the long wait, the 2023 Census is being implemented in accordance with international standards and best practices.
“These standards – the United Nations Principles and recommendations for the 2020 World Programme on population and housing censuses – emphasize that countries make increased use of technology and innovations in the implementation of censuses with a view to improving data quality and timeliness of the products thereof,” she said.
According to her, the exercise is the first fully digital census to be conducted in Nigeria as it employs the use of technology and methodological innovations to ensure the collection of high-quality and timely data.
However, she said If well implemented, a Call Center will significantly change the complexion of Census implementation in favourable ways.
“A Call Centre, embedded in the situation room, is a help desk and will ensure communication of crucial information relating to Census implementation among and between census managers or officials, field functionaries and the public.
“This will ensure the exchange of important information in (near) real-time and set the stage for making informed decisions, especially during the major field activities.