2023 census: Albino foundation seeks inclusion of PWDs

The Albino Foundation (TAF), has urged the National Population Commission (NPC) to ensure inclusion of Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) in the upcoming 2023 population and housing census.

Its founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Jake Epelle, made the call Thursday, when he led a delegation from the foundation on an advocacy visit to the headquarters of the Commission in Abuja. 

Epelle expressed the willingness of the foundation to support the NPC achieve a successful digital census, disclosing that it had developed an app that support in the collation of all eyewitness reports.

“We would like to support the NPC with technology,  its an eye witness app we developed that people can deploy real time videos , real time text messages. 

“If for any reasons you are not planning that we can integrate that into what you are doing, continuous awareness and sensitization exercise to carry out a post census scooping at each geopolitical zone this is specifically for disability, we want to be assured that all the measures dished out from the headquarters was carried out by everybody concerned,” he stressed.

“To execute the above there is need to carry out a formal memorandum of understanding between the commission and TAF, that would serve as part of the engagement process and working document to give hope to the disability community. 

“It is laudable and commendable what the NPC has done with the digital resources at their disposal, and making the coming census a digital one. 

“Our job is to help you based on partnership, respect and your approval, we will not lawn anything over you. I want you to know that we will serve as your servants. This is all to ensure we have our data in a disaggregated manner,” he said.

Responding, the Executive Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Isa-Kwarra, assured that necessary measures were already in place to ensure a successful digital census next year, adding that it would be a disability inclusive exercise.

He further assured of a disaggregated data for people living with disability and the albinism community, stressing that all Nigerians will be counted, including where they reside.

His words, “All exercises we’ve carried out so far, we included people living with disability. And that includes members of the albinism community. Also, when we do our major recruitment, whether it’s the ad hoc or the permanent, I assure you to include members of the albinism community.

“We would soon open our portal for recruitment of the ad hoc staff, we assure you that members of your community that apply and we find them suitable, we are going to recruit them to be part of the main census exercise.

“We’ve already captured the needs of people living with disability including the albinism community and we will produce disaggregated data. Not just of the members of the albinism community but where they reside, because it’s a population and housing census.

“We will partner with you and create that capacity other African countries haven’t created. We want to conduct a census that leaves no one behind, because every Nigerian counts, and we would count every Nigerian.”