2018 Census: NPC to spend N60bn on ICT

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Leadership of labour and civil society speaks to thousands of people protesting against the scrapping of oil subsidy at Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos, on January 11, 2012. Thousands of protesters gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in the third day of on-going mass strike by labour and civil society to protest the scrapping of oil subsidy by the government. AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chairman of National Population Commission (NPC) Chief Eze Duruihuoma has disclosed that the Commission plans to spend about N60billion in building a robust Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure for the 2018 census and other activities of the commission.

He made the disclosure in his keynote address on Monday at the opening of a 3-day ICTretreat organized by NPC for members and management staff of the Commission.

According to him, the amount will go into the procurement of about 600,000 units of Electronic Data Capture Devices (EDCs); setting up of private cloud server and connectivity for streaming and storage of census data at the headquarters and seven zonal data processing centres; procurement of computers and accessories;provision of secured network infrastructures; upgrading of Geo Portal, software development and training.

“Devices alone will not conduct the census as necessary skills are required. It is int his regard that the Commission has placed premium on staff development for optimum output.

“The seven Data Processing Centres (DPCs) have been renovated while the Geo-portal in the headquarters has been
resuscitated with the assistance of UNICEF and will soon be put into maximum use to support the ICT infrastructure of the Commission,” he said.

Chief Duruihuoma further made known that the present Commission has resolved to divorce the human elements from the entire census process; saying in the new configuration,which will rely on Electronic Data Capture Devices, the facial and finger print features of every respondent will be captured in a hand-held android powered machine.
“Digital Data Collection (DDC) has become an increasingly popular tool for datacollection. No doubt, the use of this cutting edge technology will lead to the generation of indeed Nigerians with accurate and reliable statistics information about the demographic composition of the country’s population”, he said.

As astatistical organization involved in the generation, processing and dissemination of massive demographic data, the use of ICT he said is not just amatter of convenience but an absolute necessity aimed at building a strong ICT base to drive the 2018 census processes.

Also,in his address, the chairman ICT committee, Professor Chika Moore noted that the 2018 census shall be ICT driven and biometric based; stating that the basic aim of the retreat is to discuss, understand and appreciate how the Commission canleverage on ICT to more effectively and efficiently deliver on its core mandates.

The retreat themed, ‘ICT a vehicle for effective and efficient delivery of theCommission’s core mandate’ he said is a crucial step in the march of the Commission towards delivering an Accurate, Reliable, Verifiable and
Acceptable (ARVA)census for sustainable development and increase in gross national happiness.