The Ekiti State Steering and Advocacy Committee for the 2023 National Population and Housing Census has called on the people of the state make themselves available for enumeration when the exercise begins.

The committee also allayed the fears of the people over some misgivings around the exercise, stressing that the national census was essentially for effective socio-economic planning and development of the country and the federating states.

The committee which was headed by the Special Adviser on Budget, Economic Planning and Performance Management, Mr Niyi Adebayo kick started the advocacy tour in Ado, Oye, Emure and Ise/orun Local Government areas of the state on Wednesday.

Adebayo who led the team to Emure and Ise/Orun local government areas, told the stakeholders in the two local government areas, comprising community leaders, market leaders, religious leaders, leaders of associations, town unions and youths that they have significant roles to play in the enlightening the people on the importance of the exercise.

He said the state government has put adequate measures in place to ensure the success of the 2023 census exercise and would provide necessary support to the National Population Commission in the course of the exercise in the state.

He urged Muslim residents in the communities to allow the female enumerators have access to their wives and daughters for proper enumeration. He added that the 2023 census would be different from the previous ones because only people that are seen would be counted.

In their reactions, the community leaders appreciated the Biodun Oyebanji government for setting up the advocacy and enlightenment committee and promised to cooperate with the enumerators as they are now sufficiently educated on the census.

The Leader of the team that visited Oye local Government, Dr Oyebanji Filani disabused the minds of the people who might view the exercise as another means of imposing additional taxes, charged the people to support the government to make a success of the census exercise.

In his address to stakeholders at a gathering at the town hall, Dr Filani, who is the State Commissioner for Health and Human Services, urged the residents of the local government to embrace the enumerators and other officials of the National Population Commission (NPC) with open arms and allow them discharge their duties effectively for the overall good of the state.

The Chairman of the council, Hon Sunday Ajimoko advised the people to observe all the rules of the exercise for a seamless census.

Meanwhile the people of Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, have pledged to embark on aggressive mobilisation of residents to ensure maximum participation in the census exercise.

They made this declaration at a stakeholders’ meeting with the state steering and Advocacy Committee in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday. The stakeholders comprising representatives of Ewi-in-Council, market women, leaders of Hausa, Igbira, Igbo communities, leaders of trade and artisan unions as well as religious and political leaders.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr Yinka Oyebode, who led a team to the local government, explained that the outcome of the 2023 census would aid effective economic planning and provision of amenities aimed at improving the living conditions of the people.

Oyebode urged the residents to ensure that all the communities and farm steads were covered during the exercise, said the state government is collaborating with the NPC to ensure a hitch free exercise.
Earlier, the chairman of Ado-Local Government, Hon Bode Osaloni said the outcome of the exercise would attract more development to the local government and urged the people to cooperate with the enumerators.

The Committee’s advocacy tour of the local government areas continues on Thursday with visits to Efon, Ekiti West, Ikere, Ekiti South west, moba and Ilejemeje local government areas.

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