Census: NSA inaugurates 25-member security, logistics committee

National Security Adviser (NSA), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, inaugurated a 25-member National Census Security and Logistic Committee ahead of upcoming Population and Housing Census in the country. The committee members are drawn from the military, paramilitary, police force, relevant ministries, unions and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). While inaugurating the committee in Abuja late Wednesday evening, Ribadu stressed the need for accurate and reliable demographic data for policy formulation and planning, and for sustainable development. He said: “It is in the light of this and the desire to bequeath an enduring legacy of evidence-based planning for sustainable development that the conduct of the Population and Housing Census is of topmost priority to the administration of President Bola Tinubu. “The setting up of this committee and its inauguration at this point in time is therefore a necessary step toward ensuring peaceful and smooth conduct of the census.” Ribadu also said that the scope of the census is enormous, adding that “safeguarding the personnel and materials, as well as smooth channelling of same is imperative to the overall success of the exercise.” He explained that the committee must be conscious of several risk factors that might affect successful conduct of the census. “The planning and conduct of a gigantic programme such as the census will no doubt come with its challenges in terms of security and logistics arrangement. “Potential areas of threats to the census include physical attacks on National Population Commission (NPC) staff and facilities, attacks on security personnel on census duty, kidnapping, inter/intra communal violence disrupting preparatory and main census work.” Others are attacks targeting NPC databases and ICT architecture, intimidation of members of the public to dissuade them from participating in the process, snatching and destruction of census materials. “Most prominent is the issue of insecurity arising from banditry, kidnapping, armed conflicts, terrorism, insurgency and other violent crimes which pose major challenges to the census.” He, however, said that though the task before the committee is huge, Federal Government had put in serious efforts to ensure the safety of Nigerians. “It is expected that with coordinated synergy by the committee, safe movement of personnel and materials before, during and after the census will be guaranteed. “This is because we have the confidence that with the calibre of members of this committee, this national assignment will be carried out successfully,” he said. He also disclosed that the committee would be replicated in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory and in the 774 local government areas of the country. Mr Isa Kwarra, the Chairman of NPC and Chairman of the committee emphasised the importance of the committee. He noted that the commission attached great importance to the work of the committee, whose work is critical and important to the commission’s quest to giving Nigeria a credible, reliable and acceptable census data for national planning. He assured that the commission would without delay, organise workshops on processes and methodologies for the census to keep members of the committee up-to-date on preparations for the census. Citing some milestones the commission had reached preparatory to the exercise, he said NPC concluded the enumeration area demarcation of the 774 LGAs and the first and second pretest of census instruments. Others, according to him, are the procurement of 760,000 tablets and accessories and distribution of same to all states of the federation. He added that “from these milestones, it is obvious that the commission has a herculean task in deploying personnel to every nook and cranny of the country. “With the calibre of members, I am confident that the committee has all it takes to mitigate the security and logistic challenges of the coming census. “I wish to assure the committee and all Nigerians that the commission remains committed to the conduct of a credible and acceptable census that will be transformational and meet international standards. “In the coming census, everyone will be counted in the right way, at the right place and time, and for the benefit of all persons resident in Nigeria,” he said. He assured members of the committee of NPC’s support in the discharge of their duties. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that former President Mohammadu Buhari postponed the Population and Housing Census scheduled to have held between May 3 and May 7, 2023, to a date to be announced by the new government of President Bola Tinubu. The then Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that the shift in date was to allow frayed nerves to calm down after the 2023 general elections. The post Census: NSA inaugurates 25-member security, logistics committee appeared first on Guardian Nigeria News.

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