From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The National Population Commission (NPC) has commenced the second phase of its Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise in Cross River State.
The exercise, a pre-census activity, will be conducted in Odukpani and Akamkpa Areas of the State.
Briefing reporters on the exercise in Calabar on Thursday, the Federal Commissioner of the NPC, Navy Captain Charles Ogwa (retd), said the Commission is deploying the latest digital technology to guarantee the success and accuracy of the exercise.
The exercise, he noted, is taking place simultaneously across Nigeria and that it will help in creating digitalised maps which will positively affect future elections.
‘To us in the Commission, getting the EAD right is not just an option but an absolute necessity in the quest to deliver to the nation an accurate, reliable, acceptable and verifiable census,’ Captain Ogwa said.
‘For this reason, the Commission is deploying latest technology such as high-resolution satellite imagery based on the principles of Geographic Information System (GIS) which enables all buildings as well as their attribute date using data acquisition software.
‘The Global Positioning System (GPS) is also used for geo-referencing along with Personal Data Assistants which are half held devices/tablets loaded with appropriate software for population estimation and data capture.
‘It is worthy of mention that the NPC would be assisting Independent National Electoral Commission to create digitized maps of INEC Registration Areas for the first time as part of the EAD.
‘It is hoped that this collaboration would positively affect future elections,’ he said.
Also speaking, the Zonal Controller of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Ismaila Oboh, commended the NPC for commencing the exercise after 14 years.
He said the NBS is a major user of the data from NPC and tasked them to have a backchecking of the satellite image to avoid lapses.
Cross River Governor Ben Ayade, represented by his Special Adviser on Planning, Ted Inyang, said the exercise will assist in planning and research on population studies.