Media professionals have been urged to collaborate with the National Population Commission to achieve set goals in the forthcoming census exercise.
The Federal Commissioner representing Kogi State in the National Population Commission, Professor Habibat Isah Jimoh made the call on Thursday at a “One-Day State Level Capacity Building Workshop For Journalists on Effective Reporting of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Lokoja.”
Prof Jimoh said the call became imperative in view of the commission’s determination to present a fair, balanced and credible census to the people of the state.
On the effectiveness of the equipment to be deployed, the Federal Commissioner said the commission’s server has been built against hackers’ interference and breakdown in view of its desire to achieve set goals.
She stressed that the exercise is key to national planning and development by the government for the overall benefit of all.
In his opening remark, the Kogi State director of the commission, Mr Ojo Titus Abiodun said cutting-edge technology has been deployed to ensure a seamless exercise.
Ojo said the commission is poised to achieve a fair, credible and acceptable population and housing census for all in-respective of tribe, religion and race.
According to him, measures also have been put in place to check against pitfalls that bedevilled previous census exercises in the country.
He equally called for continuous synergy with journalists in the state to sensitise the public, especially at the grassroots levels.
Also speaking, the Kogi State chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Adeiza Momohjimoh charged the Commission to be thorough with the equipment to be deployed to avoid setbacks during and after the exercise.
Adeiza said getting accurate data is key to the success of the exercise.
In a message to the occasion, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo charged journalists to be fair in their reportage of the exercise in Kogi State.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Adegbola Teddy, the commissioner assured of the partnership of the state government towards achieving set goals.
In his goodwill message, the representative of the Nigeria Guild of Editors, NGE, Mr Donatus Okpe called on the commission to detach itself during the exercise from political influence and be just, fair, and impartial to all.
Highlights of the workshop were the technical sessions which included “History of Population Censuses in Nigeria and Structure and Mandate of the National Population Commission” delivered by the Kogi State director of NPC, Mr Ojo Abiodun Titus, “Enumeration Area Demarcation for the 2023 Population and Housing Census” by Mallam Sule Haruna, Head of Department, Technical, NPC Kogi State and “How To Generate Media Content on the 2023 Population and Housing Census” by the Kogi State Public Affairs Officer of the commission, Mrs R. M. Omattah.