The National Population Commission (NPC), says it is smoothening all necessary processes through pre-test exercise to improve the next census in the country.

The Chairman of the Commission, Nasir Kwarra, stated this at a news conference on the commencement of the 2nd pre-test fieldwork in Gombe on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census planning process which provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census programme and instruments in advance of the main census activities, thus ensuring smooth operation and success of the census.

The pre-test exercise was also aimed at testing the census methodology, the questionnaires and data collection methods.

Kwarra, represented by Abubakar Danburam, NPC’s Federal Commissioner in charge of Gombe State, said the pre-test exercise provides the opportunity to test all aspects of the census programme and instruments in advance of the main census.

He said that all necessary steps were being taken while leveraging modern technology and geographical gadgets towards ensuring the smooth operation and success of the main census.

The conduct of the pre-test, he said, was part of the preparation by the Commission towards laying a good foundation for the next population and housing census.

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The Chairman assured that with the level of preparedness through ongoing fieldworks, the commission would be able to ensure that the next population and housing census was credible, reliable and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders.

“ The Commission is conscious of the important role of the pre-test in the process of authenticating and updating the Enumeration Areas (EADs) in preparation for the next census.

“We would like to caution that the pre-test is not the actual census but the mirror through which we look at our readiness for the next census,’’ he said.

He said the Commission had almost concluded the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) activity, adding that 772 local government areas were successfully demarcated from the pilot phase to the completion of phase 17 EAD exercise, with only two LGAs outstanding.

While commending the Gombe State Government, security agencies, community and religious leaders for their support, Kwarra appealed for more assistance to field officers to facilitate smooth conduct of the exercise.

NAN reports that the 2nd pre-test exercise would be conducted between Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 in Dukku, Funakaye, Akko and Kaltungo LGAs of the state. (NAN)