Some residents of Borno State may not be counted in the forthcoming national population and housing census due to insecurity.
The population of inaccessible areas due to insecurity during the period of the exercise may have to be approximated, said the director of the Borno State office of the National Population Commission, Kachalla Yerima.
Borno State refugees in the neighbouring countries may have to be shipped back home within the exercise period to be counted. They will not be traced to their countries of refuge to be counted.
He made this known during a one-day capacity-building workshop for journalists in the state for the 2023 population and housing census.
Responding to a question on the fate of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists and their captives in Sambisa Forest and other enclaves across the state, Yerima said, “if an area is a high-risk area during the exercise, we cannot risk the life of any of our functionaries to venture there for the enumeration.”
On inaccessible areas across the state, especially Abadam Local Government Area and parts of Gwoza LGA, he said unless the security situation of the areas improves to the point of guaranteeing safety for the enumerators, the population of such areas will only be approximated using the hybrid enumeration areas.
“In spite of insecurity in those areas, we still have the satellite images of the demarcated enumeration areas of those areas, which we will use to approximate the population of the occupants of each household captured in the satellite images,” the director said.
“For Borno State refugees in the neighbouring countries, it is unfortunate we can only count them if we see them practically in their respective home communities in Nigeria during the exercise,” Yerima said.
“We have talked to their local government chairmen to consider transporting them back home to be counted; otherwise, they will not be counted outside the Nigerian borders,” he explained.
Earlier, in his keynote address, the Federal Commissioner for Borno State for the Commission, Barr. Isa Audu Buratai, expressed confidence that with the digitalization of the process, the exercise could be conducted in five days.