2023 Census: Ebonyi Govt inaugurates 19-member steering committee


Ebonyi State Government, in collaboration with the National Population Commission (NPC), has inaugurated a 19-member State Steering Committee on the forthcoming 2023 National population and housing census.

The inauguration was an outcome of the State’s Stakeholders’ Summit held on Monday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

The Committee has Governor David Umahi and his Deputy, Kelechi Igwe, as Chairman and Vice respectively.

Other members include the State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Fr. Abraham Nwali, Chairman Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Charles Mkpuma, the State Commissioner for Information and orientation, Barr. Uchenna Orji and the Secretary to State Government, Kenneth Ugbala, among others.
Dr Joseph Chukwu of the Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, represents the academia in the committee.

Addressing the stakeholders, Umahi expressed optimism that the NPC was prepared to deliver a credible census going by the outcome of its preliminary exercises such as the enumeration area demarcation and the trial census.

He called on all and sundry to join hands in ensuring that Ebonyi is well and totally captured, adding that the task of delivering an acceptable census was a collective one.

He charged the Committee to put in their very best, adding, “We will be doing a monthly evaluation of our progress toward the census”.

Furthering his speech, Umahi made a case for proper harmonization of the question of place of birth and indigeneship rights in the forthcoming census in Nigeria, maintaining that Southeast indigenes are scattered all over the country.

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“At the time we will need to evaluate the indices of the census, we will be asking these critical questions:
“Is there any law in the country that where somebody is born, he should become an indigene of the place?

“There is no law that is saying that if you are doing business in a state, and probably you’ve stayed 10 years in the place, that you cannot benefit from the privileges that is accorded to the so called indigenes.”

The Federal Commissioner representing Ebonyi State at the National Population Commission, Chief Darling Okereke, in his remarks noted that the essence of the meeting was to create awareness on the census and galvanize support and collaboration of all critical stakeholders for the success of the 2023 population and housing census.

“It provides an opportunity for us to engage Ebonyi people towards delivering a credible census next year.”

Okereke further explained that the 2023 census would be fully digital, stressing that the commission remained resolute in conducting a census that would meet international best practices.

In a lecture titled “The Imperative of National Population and Housing Census”, the Director of Work and Study Programme, Ebonyi State University, Dr Odicha Ude, emphasized that census data is at the centre of every planning.

He noted that a census for the country was long overdue as the data from the 2006 census, being about 17 years old was no longer tenable.

“Further delay in conducting the census would undermine political, social, economic and environmental landscape of the country”, Ude submitted.

The event was attended by members of the State Executive Council, the Legislature, the Media, Women and youth groups as well as candidates of political parties for the 2023 elections.

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