By Chris Nomjov
The 2017 population and housing census will involve biometric data capture, the National Population Commission (NPC) in Nigeria has revealed.
The technology will involve the capturing of facial impression and fingerprints of respondents. This new development will assuage the controversies that has trailed previous census exercises in the country.
According to the Chairman of the commission, Eze Duruiheoma, the aim is to eliminate all forms of manipulation and also give the nation accurate, reliable and indisputable demographic data that will drive the country to sustainable development.
Duruiheoma made the statement at the opening of a three-day workshop on Questions, Instruments and Tabulation for the 2017 population and housing census organised for National and State Commissioners of the commission in Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria.
He assured Nigerians that preparations for the exercise were ongoing and appeared brighter than ever.
According to him, the introduction of biometric verification of respondents’ finger prints and faces will eliminate all forms of contentions and allegations of manipulations that followed the previous exercises.
He also announced that the commission would recruit over 5,000 ad-hoc staff, to complement the number of existing staff of the commission during the census enumeration.
After the last census in 2006, the commission surmised the number of Nigerians residing in Nigeria to be about 140 million, which triggered arguments and accusations.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented by his Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mohammed Sani, maintained that accurate census remained the foundation upon which development stood.
He also noted that the plan by the NPC to conduct a biometric based census in 2017 was a welcomed development and deserved the cooperation of all.