The Federal Government yesterday announced the release of over N775 million for the conduct of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise, ahead of next year’s National Population Commission (NPC) census.
EAD is a process of deploying high calibre technology to divide the land mass of a country into small units that can be easily covered by a team of enumerators during census enumeration.
The exercise, which is expected to begin on February 20 and end on March 10, constitutes the foundation on which the census architecture stands.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, the NPC Chairman, Chief Eze Duruiheoma, said the commission would deploy sophisticated technology to carry out the exercise.
Besides, the NPC boss, however, promised to include religion and ethnicity in the 2018 census data as against the conduct of the 2006 housing and population census exercise.
He, however, hinged the conduct of the exercise on a presidential proclamation and funding, which he said were very critical to the conduct of the census.
Duruiheoma said the Federal Government’s plan to conduct the national census in 2018 might be in jeopardy as a result of lack of a presidential proclamation by President Muhammadu Buhari and absence of funding.
A presidential proclamation was expected late last year to railroad the preparations towards the actual census.
But, President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence and subsequent medical vacation to London, United Kingdom in January, has created more uncertainty over the planned census.
Duruiheoma said: “It is our expectation that what will be required for future censuses will be updating. Products from the EAD exercise can also be used by NIPOST to generate zip codes for the country.
“It is in this regard that the commission is deploying sophisticated technology in carrying out the EAD. The methodology for the census is designed to achieve full Geographic Information System(GIS) compliance.
“High resolution satellite imagery will be used to ensure that no area is left un-demarcated or no place is duplicated. The methodology being adopted will not allow for the creation of imaginary EAs. Any attempt to include non-existent households and buildings in the EAs will be detected through satellite imagery. In addition, the Federal Government has released over N775 million for the conduct of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise.”
The NPC boss noted that the third phase of the EAD will take place in 37 local government areas (LGAs) in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He added that the commission had previously demarcated the 37 LGAS in the 36 states and the FCT under the previous EAD.
He explained: “At the end of the EAD Phase 3, the commission would have successfully demarcated 74 LGAs and remaining 700 LGAs will be covered under the subsequent phases of EAD.
”Arrangements for the uninterrupted implementation of the EAD exercise in the remaining LGAs have been concluded. A 50 person demarcation team has been recruited in all the states and the FCT and will be trained from February 13 to 19, 2017 at state level.”
On the inclusion of religion and ethnicity in the 2018 census data, he said: “We want to make sure that whatever product we produce after this census, we contemplate it would be accepted by the majority of Nigerians and that should be the test.
”Those things that are ought to be there, such as religion and others; I know there is something controversial about that. Now, we want to engage Nigerians on some of those things. We want to let Nigerians to give us feedback on what they want or what they think because we don’t claim to know it all here.
“And that is why we have never tired of telling you look what we are doing. We tell you all that so that you can criticize us and make input. If you think any particular step we are taking is wrong, tell us. It is our duty to accept corrections.
“So, the assurance I give you is that most of those things you complained about will not be left out in the census we are contemplating.”