By Anayo Okoli & Chinedu Adonu
In a bid to achieve credible elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has made an arrangement with the National Population Commission, NPC, to create digitized maps of INEC wards.
The collaborative arrangement would enhance the accuracy and transparency of future elections in the country. This was disclosed by the National Population Commission as it flagged off the 10th phase of Enumeration Area Demarcation, EAD, preparatory to the next national census.
According to the NPC, information from the ongoing enumeration would also be very useful for security surveillance as well as crime prevention and detection.
In addition, the commission said that information generated on household distribution from the EAD can be used to ameliorate the adverse effects of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic by enabling a more systematic contact tracing and distribution of palliatives.
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These were disclosed by the Federal Commissioner representing Enugu State, Hon. Ejike Eze, during the flag-off for phase 10 of EAD held at Enugu East Council.
Eze, who represented the Acting National Chairman, Eyitayo Oyetunji, described EAD as one of the preparatory activities for the next census exercise.
Eze explained that the EAD is the process of delineating the entire land area of the country into small (mutually exclusive) geographical and demographic unit called enumeration area, adding that units to cover during the exercise comprises the specific number of persons and houses.
“It must be mentioned that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has entered into a special arrangement with the National Population Commission, NPC, under which the NPC is assisting INEC to create digitized maps of INEC registration areas (wards). It is expected that the output of the collaborative effort will further enhance the accuracy and transparency of future elections
“Added to the above and in the face of growing insecurity besting parts of the nation, information from the EAD is also invaluable for security surveillance as well as crime prevention and detection”, Eze said.
Giving other importance of the census, Eze said that the information gathered during EAD would help in economic development, tackle security challenges in the country.
“Planning for the census is anchored on EAD as the basis for estimating both human and material resources required for the census. In essence, the success of a credible and accurate census depends very much on the quality and reliability of the EAD.
“The EAD is a preparatory activity for actual census enumeration. Hence, although the EAD is the foundation on which the entire census architecture is built, it should not be equated with the census which is the building itself.
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“This is why we in the commission have resolved to get it right in our quest to deliver to the nation an accurate, reliable, acceptable, and verifiable census.
“The commission is leaving no stone unturned in order to ensure that the EAD is carried out meticulously, professionally and scientifically in order to provide the basis for the smooth conduct of the next Census,” Eze assured.
While commending President Muhammed Buhari for releasing N10 million to the commission for the completion of EAD, he called on all critical stakeholders to support the commission in this regard to see to the full realization of the conduct of the next census.
The commission reiterated its preparedness and unwavering commitment to working towards a successful conclusion of EAD, considering the personnel and sophisticated technology at their disposal.
Eze expressed the appreciation of the National Population Commission to Enugu State Government for its continued support to the commission, which has contributed to the success of its activities in the state
The chairman of Enugu East council, Hon. Alex Ugwu assured the commission of his administration’s support and cooperation during and after the exercise.
He called on the people of the area to accept and identify with the facilitators from NPC during the EAD exercise.