The Lagos government has urged residents to make themselves available for counting in the state during the population and housing census exercise when it kicks off and not to leave for their local towns or villages.
The Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Ibrahim Obajomo revealed that the previous population census showed that significant number of residents leaves the state to their origins and return just after the census, which in turn springs to inappropriate data collection for resource allocation, provision of infrastructural and economic development.
He made the urge at a One-Day sensitization workshop on Y2023 Census exercise organized by Lagos State Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, themed “Benefits of Population Census and Encouraging Effective Participation by Residents of Lagos”, held at the Ostra Hotel, Ikeja.
Represented by the Director, Admin and Human Resource, Mrs Mojisola Adeyemi Fashola, he said: “the outcome of previous census exercise in the state revealed that significant proportion of the state residents usually travelled to their state of origin during the census exercise and returned to Lagos after the conclusion of the exercise.
“There is need to discourage such practices in order for the state to have a robust population estimate that will attract appropriate support and intervention in terms of resource allocation.”
He however highlighted that the State is not resting on its oars as plans are in place to engage in “media campaigns and grassroot mobilisations to ensure residents are counted in their place of residence rather than place of origin.”
In his Keynote address, the State Director, National Population Commission (NPC) Lagos, Mr Sadiku Bamidele, revealed that full digital methodology would be deployed for the 2023 exercise which is an improvement upon the 2006 population and housing census when it was last held in the country.
He said, “The 2023 Population and Housing Census will be Nigeria’s first Digital Census in planning and execution which implies a change in how the data on Population and Housing information are to be captured.
“This approach started with the demarcation of enumeration areas covering the entire territorial space of Nigeria using mobile handheld device and geographic information systems (GIS) and satellite imageries to create the digital census maps.”
He said as part of preparations towards the 2023 census, NPC had screened and recruited 872,525 Enumerators and Supervisors; 63,579 Facilitators and Specialised Work Force and 5,000 Training Centre Managers amongst other completed and ongoing activities for the exercise.
He commended the Lagos government for its cooperation with NPC through the Lagos Bureau of Statistics Office in preparation towards the counting exercise in ensuring its success in the State.
Reemphasizing the need for residents to stay and be counted where they reside, former Head, UNFPA Lagos Liaison Office, Dr Omolaso Omosehin discussed the benefits of population census and encouraging effective participation by residents of Lagos.
He stressed that residents of the state should avail themselves to be counted where they live and work, and not to return to villages or towns of origins to allow the appropriate Federal allocation to engender economic gains and development.
In driving the effective participation by Lagos residents, a Panel session was held where representatives of different strata of the populace lend their voices to creating effective awareness and involvement of the people in ensuring a positive outcome for more developmental gains in the state.
Panelists were: Dr Omolaso Omosehin, former Head, UNFPA Lagos Liaison Office; , Mr Sadiku Bamidele, State Director, National Population Commission (NPC) Lagos; Mrs Oluwatotyin Adeniji, Director, Community Development, Ministry of Local Government Affairs; Lana Promise, Young Social Impact leader; Ugo Aliogo, Media practitioner and Jaiyeola Ayanbadejo, Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst, UNFPA Lagos Liaison Office.
Also present at the workshop were representatives of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, as well as Community Development Associations (CDAs) and Community Development Committees (CDCs) in the State.