Census: NSA inaugurates security, logistics committee

The National Security Adviser (NSA), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, has formally inaugurated the 2024 National Census Security and Logistics Committee to mark the beginning of preparations for the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census, emphasizing the importance of accurate demographic data for sustainable development.

Ribadu in his keynote address during the inauguration ceremony which held Tuesday at the office of the National Security Adviser in the Three Arms Zone, Abuja, highlighted the critical role of reliable census data in policy formulation and planning.

He stated, “The need to provide the nation with accurate and reliable demographic data for policy formulation and planning for sustainable development cannot be overemphasized. The conduct of the 2024 Population and Housing Census is of topmost priority to the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR.”

The NSA underscored the necessity of the Committee in ensuring the peaceful and smooth conduct of the census, given Nigeria’s diverse and complex socio-economic landscape. He acknowledged the potential challenges, including physical attacks on staff, kidnapping, and inter/intra communal violence, which pose significant threats to the census exercise.

“The task before the National Security and Logistic Committee is huge. Safeguarding the personnel and materials as well as the smooth channelling of same, is imperative to the overall success of the Census exercise,” Ribadu stated. He assured that the government has put in serious efforts to make the country safe for everyone, emphasizing the importance of coordinated synergy by the Committee to guarantee the safe movement of personnel and materials.

The National Population Commission is set to conduct Nigeria’s first fully digital census, promising credible and trustworthy data essential for government planning in areas such as infrastructure, security, budget allocations, and development intervention agendas.

Ribadu expressed confidence in the Committee’s capability, citing the members’ wealth of experience and commitment to nation-building. He announced that similar committees would be established in all 36 states, the Federal Capital Territory, and the 774 Local Government Areas to ensure a robust security and logistics architecture.

“It is on this note and with gratitude to God Almighty; I inaugurate the 2024 National Security and Logistic Committee to the glory of God and progress of our dear country Nigeria. I wish all members a fulfilling national assignment.”

The inauguration sets the stage for a coordinated effort to ensure the success of the 2024 Population and Housing Census, reinforcing the government’s commitment to accurate data collection and sustainable development planning.

Earlier, Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Isa Kwarra, emphasized the critical role of the newly formed committee in ensuring the success of Nigeria’s first fully digital census.

Kwarra highlighted several key milestones achieved in preparation for the census, including the Enumeration Area Demarcation of all 774 Local Government Areas, the first and second pretests of census instruments, and the convening of a National Stakeholders’ Summit. He also noted the establishment of the Census Communication Centre, the Situation Room for real-time monitoring, and the upgrading of ICT infrastructure across the country.

Further accomplishments include the procurement of 760,000 tablets and accessories, the establishment of a Census Data Center and Data Recovery Center, and the successful conduct of a trial census and its subsequent Post Enumeration Survey. The NPC has also launched a digital recruitment platform, trained 1,600 master and principal trainers, and recruited over 800,000 census field personnel.

“Census has been described as next to war and the biggest peacetime activity in terms of mobilization of men and resources. The importance of the inauguration of the Security and Logistics Committee cannot be overemphasized,” he stated.

Hon. Kwarra assured the committee of the NPC’s steadfast support and commitment to providing Nigeria with credible, reliable, and acceptable census data for national planning. He expressed confidence in the committee’s ability to address the security and logistic challenges of the upcoming census, noting the vast and diverse geography of Nigeria.

“In the coming Census, everyone will be counted in the right way, at the right place and time, and for the benefit of all persons resident in Nigeria,” Hon. Kwarra concluded, reinforcing the NPC’s commitment to a transformational census that meets international standards.

In her welcome address, the Chairman of the general service committee and Honourable Commissioner for Plateau State, Mrs. Ishaya Afan, emphasized that the calibre of government agencies and other stakeholders constituting the committee is a testament to the importance the commission attaches to the successful conduct of a credible census whose results will be reliable for national development planning