As part of its preparations for the upcoming Population and Housing Census, the National Population Commission has commenced fieldwork for the 2nd Pre-Test in four local government areas of Gombe State.

The Federal Commissioner for Gombe State, Mr Abubakar Mohammed Danburam, informed journalists in Gombe of this when he read out a message from the Chairman of the National Population Commission, Mr Nasir Isa Kwarrato.

The purpose of the Pre-test, according to Mr Danburam, was to test the census methodology, questionnaires and data collection methods, field staff manuals, instruction manuals, data editing and coding, data processing and tabulation in preparation for the actual census.

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The 2nd Pre-test will be done in some selected Enumeration Areas in Akko, Dukku, Funa Kaye, and Kaltungo, which were delineated between the pilot phase in 2014 and the final phase in 2021, according to the National Population Commissioner for Gombe State.

Mr Danburam explained that the sampling methodology had been designed to test-run, confirm the viability and effectiveness of the already Demarcated Enumeration Areas in preparation for the smooth conduct of the next census, adding that the enumeration was expected to last between December 3 and December 10, with the use of modern technology to conduct the enumeration, eliminate inflation of figures, ensure accuracy, and guarantee full coverage of all mapped out areas.

He revealed that the selected Enumeration Areas in Gombe State were Akko, Dukku, Funa Kaye, and Kaltungo, and that they would be involved from the pilot phase in 2014 to the final phase in 2021.

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According to him, 24 enumerators, six reserved enumerators, four supervisors, one field coordinator, one technical or state coordinator, two Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Officers, one ICT staff, and two monitors for Gombe State had already been trained.

The 2nd Pre-test, according to the Federal Commissioner, was designed to check the adequacy of the questionnaires or forms, as well as the clarity of concepts, instructions and contents of census instruments, and the usage of the Enumeration Area maps for the Census.

“The workload on each team of enumerators and supervisors, logistics support from States and LGAs, adequacy of advocacy/IEC techniques for the Census, the relationship between EAD estimated population and 2nd Pre-test population, adequacy of the data-capture method, and so on,” Mr Danburam explained.

To guarantee that the census process is inclusive, he said the commission has mandated that each state assign one enumerator or supervisor to a person with a disability.

“The census pre-test exercise is usually conducted before the completion of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) exercise,” the Federal Commissioner explained. “In essence, the Pre-test exercise is a critical part of the census preparatory process because it allows all aspects of the census program and instruments to be tested in advance of the main census, ensuring the smooth operation and success of the exercise.”

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He claimed that it had become necessary to divide the country’s whole territory into small units that could be readily covered by a team of enumerators during the census.

Mr Danburam expressed assurances on behalf of the commission that the Pre-test was part of the Commission’s preparations for the upcoming Population and Housing Census, which would be credible, reliable, and acceptable to the country and other stakeholders.

The Pre-test, he claimed, was not the actual census, but rather a mirror through which we could assess our readiness for the next one. The Commission recognizes the significance of the pre-test in authenticating and revising Enumeration Areas (EADs) in preparation for the next census.”

He stated that all efforts should be made to ensure the program’s success, and he urged responders in the selected LGAs and EAS to cooperate fully with the interviewers and answer all questions truthfully.

“All supplied information will be treated with the strictest confidence and will not be used for any other purpose.” Mr Danburam continued, “I also want to appeal to the State Government, Local Government Councils, our revered traditional rulers, community leaders, and religious leaders to support the Commission in this noble endeavor.”

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As a result, he requested stakeholders’ participation and support in educating responders, particularly in the designated States/LGAs/EAs, as well as in logistics such as lodging, guide, and transportation for field functionaries.

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