The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) Head has disclosed that individuals who will go contrary to participating in the 2021 digital population and housing census will be prosecuted. He disclosed the jail term for such an offense will be for twelve months.
Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, a statistician at GSS stated that those who give false data will also be legally prosecuted.
Prof Annim urged Ghanaians to participate in the process. He added that this will ensure the country has precise data to operate with.
“There is no room for a person or group of persons in Ghana to abstain from the census exercise. Indeed clause 54 of the Statistical Service Act (2019) has the caption offenses and penalties. And it mandates everyone in Ghana to give us accurate data willingly once we approach the person”.
Additionally, he stated that the GSS would convince residents who are doubtful of the process through education, publicity and advocacy.
“We would around this time want to find out people who for one reason or another will not want to participate in the census. And we are optimistic that once we do the education, once we tell them why this census is important, we will urge all of them to come on board for the activity.”Pro. Annim
Touching on the financing and the budget for the exercise, he revealed that the initial allocated budget had shot up due to the emergence of COVID-19.
“The budget was shot up from GHC499 million to the current GHC521.3 million due to COVID-19. Because of the emergence of COVID, we had to consider the acquisition of PPEs, moving… to the classroom amongst other. That is what shot up our budget to the current one we have now.”
Dr. Bawumia commends effort of GSS
Meanwhile, Dr. Bawumai has commended the efforts of the Service. According to him, they are adequately prepared to conduct a successful national exercise.
He explained that for the first time, the Service has bought more than 1,500 laptops for the census.
“We’ve employed data quality monitors. And they’re going to review the data that is coming in, generate report, and share it with the field supervisors”.
“And what technology is bringing to the fore is that, we’ll be able to readily compare the outputs that we are getting from the supervisors vis-à-vis those that we are getting from the enumerators. From these perspectives, certainly, this year’s census is far from a manual based approach.”
Dr. Bawumia commends GSS efforts
Meanwhile, Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has commended the Ghana Statistical Service’s readiness to conduct this year’s population and housing census.
According to him, the paperless counting will go a long way to push the government’s digitalization agenda. It will likewise provide a more accurate database. This will solve housing deficits and poverty-related issues in the country.
“The Statistical Service will this year, conduct its first digital population and housing census in line with this digitalisation agenda. This is a historic moment. I’m highly impressed that the GSS has incorporated the ICT module in the census to ascertain the level of digital application and access in the country. Indeed, the census will provide comprehensive data on ICT access and usage in the country to enhance development in the sector.”Dr. Bawumia
Dr. Bawumia announced that the 2021 Population and Housing Census is scheduled for June 27, 2021.
The exercise will capture demographic and socio-economic data on Ghanaians, as well as track national development at all levels.