Anational population commissioner, Charles Ogwa, says there will be no ‘bashiga’ and data manipulation or fraud to favour a particular region in the forthcoming National Population and Housing Census.
The National Population Commission’s federal commissioner declared that it would be impossible for the commission’s ad hoc staff to influence data on NPC’s devices.
Mr Ogwa, representing Cross River in NPC, stated this while fielding questions from journalists on Thursday in Calabar. He said the NPC continued to prepare, although the federal government had postponed the census.
The NPC federal commissioner maintained that the commission’s technology had zero tolerance for corruption, adulteration and interference. He stressed that necessary tests had been carried out during the trial census.
“We have a standardised digital technology system for the whole country, and every data captured is sent to the same server from the enumerators to the supervisors for onward transmission to local government officials,” Mr Ogwa explained. “So as an enumerator, you cannot tell lies or falsify data because immediately you do, the data quality assistants will find out and carry out a confirmatory test for that ward.”
The NPC commissioner added, “The principle of ‘bashiga’ (no entrance) will not work in this census because if an enumerator is refused entrance into a household, he will key in blank for the household, which is a disadvantage to that community.”
Mr Ogwa noted that although the devices did not capture biometrics, which would have been a conflict of duties with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), there would be data compatibility.
He added that no country had deployed biometrics in its census taking because it would raise more issues.
“For example, some Nigerians have put in their national identity cards (NIN) that they were born in 1950, and the same people will tell enumerators during the census that they were born in 1955. This will create some challenges for the system,” Mr Ogwa pointed out.
He assured Cross River residents that the commission “is ever ready to conduct a digital census that will generate reliable and acceptable data that will be used to plan for the state.”
Mr Ogwa stated, “The postponement only gives us more time to address some real issues, mostly with a compendium of localities, which will minimise litigation in Cross River after the exercise.”
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