…Commends Buhari , NPC for Transparency
..Calls for Diaspora Participation
The forum of Nigerian Diaspora Professionals based in the United Kingdom have highlighted how the scheduled May 2023 national population census in Nigeria will assist successive Governments to plan and fast track development.
In a communique issued at the end of the quarterly meeting of Forum for Nigerian Professionals in the United Kingdom held at Magreth Thatcher Building, Oxford University, Patrick Ejeh, the leader of the group said the group convened with the sole agenda of carrying out a peer review on the preparations on the forthcoming 2023 National Population and Housing Census in Nigeria with a particular interest on the gains of credible Census in the development of Nigeria.
The Forum noted that a National Census is important in the evolution of every nation regardless of whether they’re developed or developing.
Ejeh said Nigeria as a country with many development challenges including poverty, illiteracy and unemployment therefore needs a credible Census to adequately plan towards solving some of the challenges.
” Census data is very important in various areas such as investment planning, creation of electoral wards and constituencies, establishment of schools and healthcare facilities and other amenities. The Nigerian National Population and Housing Census which integrates the housing component will offer more data on livelihoods, energy consumption, housing quality and climate change adoration and resilience.
“The benefits to be derived from this Census are enormous. Everything must be done to ensure this years Census which is already long overdue, takes place as planned.
“While priority is often placed on the electoral process in many developing and even developed countries, it is important to note that without data for adequate planning, no meaningful and sustainable development can take place in any country.
Recall that, many well meaning Nigerians had earlier questioned the rationale for holding the general elections and a Census within the same period of time and called for its postponement in favour of the elections. However, it is our belief that carrying out a Census at this point is more important as it’ll give the incoming and successive administrations more accurate data needed to plan for the development of Nigeria. Without adequate and credible data, development becomes invisible .
“This is not good for any country in the 21st century where countries all over the world are going digital and depending on data for their long-term development strategies” he said
Ejeh said as members of the Nigerian diaspora, the group feel strongly connected to the country of our birth as evidenced in the flow of remittances and other investments. Our contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria and economy of the country remains our little way of saying we believe in the ability of Nigeria as a powerful and vibrant nation. This years National Population and Housing Census is therefore very important to us and all foreign investors as it’ll provide data that’ll guide our investment decisions and areas of social intervention and collaboration.
“We equally urge the Nigerian diaspora community beyond the UK to see the forthcoming Census as an important exercise and consider using their platforms to advocate and create awareness overseas. The Nigerian diaspora can also participate in the Census exercise volunteering funds and other professional services that’ll enhance awareness and advocacy towards the Census exercise generally. With our vast experiences and a pool of professionals in different fields including ICT and data sciences, we believe that if given the opportunity to partner with the National Population Commission we’ll make a significant impact in the outcome of the Census exercise.
“So far, we commend the work of the Nigerian National Population Commission for the quality of work done towards an effective census exercise. We are impressed with the transparent leadership of the Commission which has made it possible for Nigerians to be updated on every development as it regards the Census. The Commission has also been accountable with the funds made available to it for the conduct of the Census. The Commission has so far carried out extensive and wide consultation with all stakeholders as required to ensure that Nigerians are carried along. We therefore pass a vote of confidence on the Commission under the leadership of Alhaji Isa Nasir Kwarra for upholding due process and diligence in line with Mr. President’s vision for a credible and internationally acceptable census;he said.
The Forum further commended President Muhammadu Buhari for not yielding to the call to shift and postpone this all important exercise to the next adminstration. For approving the Census budget and releasing the funds for the various activities so far, Mr. President has chosen to be on the right side of history and we are happy to identify with him on this and many laudable projects and policies executed under his adminstration. Mr. President and the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Alhaji Isa Nasir Kwarra will be forever remembered for achieving this feat during their tenure thus setting the foundation for development that will align with the blueprint of the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) to meet 21st century indeces for development in line with international standards.
“Only a credible census exercise will guarantee such development”.
“Even though we are not at home, the attitude of Nigerians towards this year’s Census is positive and commendable. We thank Nigerians for their positive disposition and call on them to participate actively in the exercise as it’ll benefit everyone and even future generations to come. Citizens should therefore avail themselves on the designated days to be counted. They must also ensure to provide adequate and accurate data to Census officials so that the final outcome will be a true reflection of our numbers and experiences. Any false data provided will harm the entire exercise and by extension, the development of our dear country” he added