Kaduna State Government has given full cooperation to the National Population Commission(NPC) to proceed with its preparations to ensure a sound, accurate and reliable census because the state believes in the use of data in policy making.
Governor Nasir El Rufai who said this when the chairman of NPC, Alhaji Nasiru Isa Kwarra paid a courtesy call to Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, reiterated that Kaduna state does not engage in policy making in the dark.
‘’Kaduna state believes the use of data, we don’t like policy-making in the dark. And the only way that we can improve the policy making capability is through the good use of data. We have not had a census since 2006, all the numbers that we have are out of date, or from international organisations. Many of which we found, were also guessing,’’ he added.
The governor disclosed that the Kaduna Bureau of Statistics has been very active in undertaking all kinds of data collection.
‘’For instance, every year we do a general household survey. We also do GDP survey every year, undertake annual schools census, health facilities census. And every six months or so, we carry out opinion polls, to test the pulse of our people on what we are doing right and wrong, so as to effect corrections where necessary,’’ he added.
El Rufai pointed out that the coming ‘’ census will provide a very good foundation that our Bureau of Statistics can build upon to do more accurate surveys in the future.’’
He assured the commissioner of the total commitment of the government and people of Kaduna state, to the success of the forthcoming exercise.
The governor said that he is pleased that NPC has up to 340 vital registration centres in Kaduna state but pleaded for more centres because Kaduna is a big state, adding that ‘’we have 46,000 square kilometres. ‘’
El Rufai promised to work with the commission, so as to open more vital registration centres across the state, ‘’so that people don’t have to travel long distances to register births, deaths and other important data. ‘’
According to him, the projected population of Kaduna state is within the region of 10 million but ‘’ we are really looking forward to this census to reconfirm our figures.’’
The governor assured the commission of continued advocacy, through the local government machinery as well as traditional institutions, adding that ‘’we will also use our political foot soldiers to mobilise people to come out and ensure that they are counted. ‘’
Speaking earlier, the NPC Chairman said that the delegation came to solicit the support of Governor El Rufai in areas of sensitization and publicity, so that all residents of Kaduna state will have adequate information before the exercise commences in the middle of this year.
The chairman indicated the readiness of the commission to conduct a realistic census that will be acceptable for proper planning and policy formulation, disclosing that NPC had already done house-to-house enumeration and delineation in 772 out of the 774 local governments in the country.