The Federal Government, through the National Population Commission (NPC), has signed a landmark deal with Nigeria’s leading integrated technology brand, Zinox, for the supply of tech components and other accessories for the 2023 national census project.
The contract, worth over N85 billion, was awarded to Zinox after ratification by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
In a statement seen by Nairametrics, Zinox noted that it has already commenced supply of the first batch of about 100,000 units of the Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) devices required for the nationwide enumeration.
Note that the indigenous technology firm emerged as the preferred technical partner for the exercise after scaling through a rigorous bidding process involving other local and international competitors.
Need for a credible census: While noting that the country cannot plan well until there is a credible data census figure, the Chairman of Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh, said that the company has built a system of integrity and a record of excellence, both in Nigeria and internationally. The Managing Director of Zinox Technologies, Mrs Kelechi Okonta, also commented on the development, saying:
- “It is a privilege for the Federal Government to consider us among many other companies in the world. They know we have the capacity. We are deploying all our resources to make sure it is successful.”
A new dawn in Nigeria: To actualize the project, Zinox on Friday, February 3, 2023, hosted a high-powered delegation of commissioners and management team of the NPC led by the Chairman, Hon. Nasir Isa Kwarra, where the first 100,00 units of digital devices were presented to the commission.
Speaking at the event The NPC Chairman noted that the 2023 census would signal a new dawn in housing and human headcount in Nigeria as there would be no over-counting or under-counting, adding that the devices, when commissioned with the forms, maps, and other digital enhancements, would ensure that enumerators are unable to go beyond the areas assigned to them.
In addition, he commended Zinox for the dedication, commitment and huge capacity displayed in the way it commenced the execution of the contract.
He noted that the software (App) that would be deployed to enable and activate the PDAs was locally developed, thus fulfilling President Buhari’s Executive Order on local content, as well as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) regulation on Local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the procurement of the PDA devices.
The NPC Chairman said:
- “With all enhancement that the National Population Commission is provisioning the devices with, e.g, the Mobile Device Management, we can monitor the enumerators on the field and ensure that the data provided by Nigerians are secured and well managed for their privacy.
- ‘‘The geospatial resources that NPC has acquired will be deployed on the devices. This will ensure that all Nigerians are counted where they are and live. We will also be able to collect statistics on housing types and characteristics for better physical and social planning by the government for the nation.
- ‘‘The homeless will be counted, tied to their usual place of abode, referenced with geo-coordinates; the Special Population: nomads, migrants, people in transit, etc, will be counted with geo-reference to where they are found at the time of the Census. Everyone will be counted because all Nigerians count.”
About the device: Encrypted with census questionnaires and maps to direct enumerators to assigned enumeration areas, the devices were hailed as key components in the conduct of an exercise that would not only meet global standards but equally ensure the accuracy of data collected.
The 2023 census, scheduled to hold between March and April, will be the fifth to be conducted by the Nigerian government since independence in 1960 and it is coming 17 years since the last edition which was held in 2006 under the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Recall that Zinox introduced automation of Nigerian elections, first with the introduction of the Direct Data Capture (DDC) machines which helped to clean up the nation’s voter register, and later the card reader which enhanced the credibility of elections in Nigeria in recent years.
Zinox had also executed major projects offshore in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and the Arab nations through partnerships.