In continuation of the demarcation of areas into sizeable units for the purpose of EAD’S (Enumeration of Areas Demarcation) the National Population Commission in the Federal Capital Territory has concluded the phase 13 of the exercise which will go up to 17 phases. The exercise which was flagged off in Abuja as soon as the new federal commissioner in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, Hon. Joseph Shazin assumed duties in the last quarter of 2020 has been a huge success. The reason is not far-fetched as Hon. Shazin was able to deploy his phenomenal administrative acumen in the discharge of the onerous responsibility.

Since then the FCT office of the NPC hit the ground running bearing in mind that they had to accomplish the mandate of the commission in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari. Among other responsibilities the NPC carries out vital registrations for births and deaths in the country, attests for people travelling abroad or seeking for admission in foreign countries and for Nigerians who are seeking for one legitimate favour or another outside Nigeria.

They also have the mandate to ascertain or qualify Nigerians on their origin especially when such demand emanates from foreign countries or their embassies in Nigeria. In this case they qualify them or issue them with attestation letters for the purpose. It is remarkable that under Hon. Shazin as the new federal commissioner, FCT has concluded the enumeration of over 1000 demarcated areas with the Abuja Municipal Area Council recording the highest number. This is not surprising considering that the area council is the seat of the federal government and hosts many federal institutions including the federal secretariat where several ministries, agencies and parastatals are domiciled.

Suffice it to say that in exercises of this nature there are bound to be some infinitesimal errors and these errors of commission or omission are usually corrected in the subsequent phase of the exercise, but this will be determined by the national headquarters of the NPC. There will also be the identification of grey areas that were not previously captured and adequate provision will be made to capture them in subsequent exercises.

The exercise is also being carried out in the 36 states of the federation and will reach the projected 17 phases, and all these efforts are in preparation for the national census which requires that states be demarcated into sizeable enumeration areas. This strategy will make for easy identification of locations, persons and houses during the national census as well as for policy planning and implementation by the federal government, local and international development agencies and even the private sector.

As to when the census will commence, it is believed that it will be dependent on the successful completion of the enumeration of areas demarcation, after which the president and commander- in- chief of the armed forces, President Muhammadu Buhari will be briefed, and he will in turn decide on when to make a proclamation based on his prerogative on such sensitive national issues.

It is pertinent to state that the necessity for a successful head and housing enumeration is not only for a hitch-free census but for future planning by the federal, states, local governments and the private sector.

So far in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory the federal commissioner, Hon. Joseph Shazin and his team have been working round the clock towards achieving the mandate of the commission and ensuring that the tasks which the president had entrusted to them is diligently executed.

It is also not surprising that within six months of assuming office, Hon. Shazin has accomplished incredible feats. As the two-time former chairman of the Kwali Area council, FCT and former school administrator he had proven that good leadership was key to the attainment of collective goals and objectives. As an educationist he never ceased to harp on the need for the education of the boy and girl -child, which he believed is a prerequisite for the growth and development of the society.

From all indications he is already deploying his vast knowledge of administration in his new assignment, and this is for the greater good of the federal capital that he represents at the NPC and the country as a whole.

There is no doubt that the president’s choice of Hon. Shazin as a federal commissioner responsible for the federal capital Abuja is a square peg in a square hole as far as accomplishing the mandate of the census body is concerned.

As they await the green light to commence the next phase of the assignment it is hoped that despite the teething challenges facing the commission such as recession, crisis ridden areas and funding, Hon Shazin will continue the diligent execution of the commission’s mandate in the federal capital territory.

Chukwudi Enekwechi, JP, Abuja