The National Population Commission (NPC) in Anambra State on Tuesday said it foiled attempted hack of its online recruitment portal by unqualified candidates in the ongoing trial census in the State.

The Federal Commissioner representing the State in the Commission, Mr Chidi Ezeoke, disclosed this in Awka at a briefing on the Trial Population and Housing Census in the seven towns of Idemili South Local Government Area.

The Commission established a fully digitalised online geo-fenced portal targeted at recruiting personnel from the selected communities the exercise was to be conducted across the country.

But Ezeoke allayed fears of engaging unqualified persons in the exercise, assuring Commission’s commitment to correcting any detected anomaly to ensure an accurate and reliable census in 2023.

He said: “The essence for this trial census is to correct some of these anomalies. We want to ensure we’ll organize a process that it hack free. If people were able to succeed in this, we want to ensure that it will be difficult for them during the 2023 census.

“I’m almost certain that that attempt to a large extent was foiled. But when you’re trying out something, it will be very difficult to prevent people from trying their hands to short-circuit your efforts.”

Describing census as capital intensive exercise, the NPC boss assured that funding would not constitute hinderence towards a hitchfree exercise, just as he guaranteed adequate security for the personnel.

“More often than not, government is always assisted by foreign donor agencies. We have enough currently and we hope more funding will be made available during the main census.

“Everyone, including international organizations wants to get exact, accurate and reliable figures from Nigeria. It’s always embarrassing when you want to quote Nigeria population, you say about. So they also want to be part of that process,” he added.

Also speaking, State Director, Dr. Joachim Ulasi refuted alleged substitution of recruited officers for the exercise, saying the only ones dropped were those absent during the 12-day training.

“There’s no person that applied and recruited in the state that was not taken as long as he or she has the National Identification Number.

“However, those who were not present in any of the 30 classes in the seven centres in the state throughout the training period were replaced with gatecrashers,” he said.

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