National census a must, says DP
Opposition Democratic Party (DP) has said that a national census is a must being a perquisite for proper planning.
Kalungu district DP chairperson, Joseph Ssewungu, said the government has failed to effectively plan for its people because it has no proper data.
“There is no authentic statistical data arrived at through acceptable scientific methods upon which to plan for the nation. With such a scenario we should not expect anything positive thing from the all the strategic plans like for the Vision 2040,” he said.
Although the population agency has already spent sh22.7b in preparation for the planned 2013 national census, the Government once again cancelled the project.
Finance state minister, Fred Omach, last week told MPs on finance Committee that although the Government made a commitment to hold the census this year; it will not be possible due to financial constraints.
According to Omach, the exercise requires sh107b, of which sh22.7b has already been incurred in procurement.
“I agree with your sentiments but right now, there is no money. Sh107b is a lot of money, which the Government might not get this financial year and I can’t say when a new date will be fixed,” he said.
The Government of Uganda, through the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) had prepared to conduct the next National Population and Housing Census in August 2012. Another census was scheduled to take place in August 2012 but it was postponed to 2013. It was again postponed to 2014.
Sewungu told a news conference in Kampala that it was the same reason why Vision 2025 failed. He noted that many government programs fail due to lack of data.
The country last conducted census in 2002. It’s supposed to be conducted in ten-year period.
Sewungu said the population and housing census is one of the main scientific sources of demographic and socio-economic statistics for all countries use for contemporary planning.
He also noted that the government needs to urgently improve the welfare of soldiers and police officers to stop the rampant desertion in the forces.
The ministry of defense told Parliament recently that about 1,000 soldiers desert the army every year.
Sewungu noted that this is a risk to the country’s security since the motives of the deserters are not known.
“Let the government set up a special salary review commission to revise the salaries of all public servants especially teachers, the army and police. We think this whole issue might be due to the poor welfare of these groups and we think the government is in position to address the matter,” he added.