By Favour Goodness
The National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra state has charged fieldwork officers to take the pre-test for the next population and housing census seriously to ensure a hitch-free forthcoming census.
The Federal Commissioner representing the state, Mr. Chidi Ezeoke gave the charge on Wednesday at the commencement of training of field functionaries and fieldwork for 2nd pre-test for the next population and housing census.
He regretted the outcome of the 2006 edition of the exercise ocassioned by disturbances by non-state actors in some areas of the state, praying the forthcoming census would be another opportunity to correct the mistakes.
He said, “In 2006, we didn’t have opportunity to do some of the things we’re doing now because our people were prevented from working.
“We’re still suffering the mistake till date. I hope a similar thing would not occur this time around because we can’t afford to lag behind any longer. We can’t continue to do things without planning.”
Describing census as the mother of all data, Ezeoke said the pre-test was aimed at testing the census methodology, questioneers, data collection methods, manual for fieldwork, among others.
“For this particular second census pre-test, the objective include to critically and comprehensively assess the suitability of questioneers, clarity of concept, instructions and content of census instruments, and others,” he added.
The State Director, Dr. Joachim Ulasi said four Local Government Areas would be covered during the exercise by 24 enumerators and four supervisors undergoing the 10-day training.
He said, “We’re training field coordinators, supervisors and enumerators to ensure every corrections detected were perfected ahead the trial census before the main census.
“We have 24 enumerators, 4 supervisors, one field and state coordinators respectively who are to cover 12EAs of four LGAs of Njijoka, Anambra West, Nnewi South and Ogbaru for the 8 days exercise.
Assuring adequate security arrangements for the personnel involved in the exercise, Joachim said, “We wrote to security agencies about the exercise as well as traditional leaders to secure our personnel and materials. We leave the rest in God’s hands.
“We thank God we completed the EADs without any security hitches. We believe we’ll record the same experience in this one even as we urge the personnel to ensure they work closely with the local guide,” he added.