So we need a budget of Ghs521 million to count 31million people? I’m not understanding - Afia Odo



The finance minister, Ken Ofori Atta has disclosed that the impending 2021 Population and Housing Census (2021 PHC) would cost the country a whopping 521 Million Ghana Cedis to enable the agency in charge of the census, that is, Ghana Statistical Services to complete their work of "counting" or enumerating all living persons and structures in the country. The purpose of this is to help successive governments in making informed decisions towards national development. But this news hasn't gone down well with most Ghanaians as many argue that the budget involved in simply "counting" people is quite overwhelmingly outrageous. One of such persons who disagree with the amount is Afia Odo, one of the public figures who have spearheaded the #Fixthecountry campaign to put the government to order to reduce its frugal spending and concentrate on developing the country. In her tweet earlier today, she questioned why Ghana needs a budget of 521 million cedis to count 31million people?

By definition, Population and Housing Census is the total enumeration or counting of all people and housing structures whether vacant or occupied within a particular country at a specified period of time. By this definition it can be deduced that this year's Population and Housing Census wouldn't only be focusing on human living in the country but would also be extended to include the counting of living quarters, that is, houses, containers, kiosks etc which are inhabited by people. Data to be collected this year is also quite different from the data collected in the previous censuses.

This year's Population and Housing Census will train about 75,000 enumerators who would be visiting individual homes for the enumeration. A unique but cost intensive feature of this year's census is the use of Tablets which were purchased specifically for the census. The 2021 PHC is barely a month away, and is projected that the number of Ghanaians after 10years might have increased from 23 million to about 30 million since the last census count in 2020. The census is expected to commence on 13th June 2021 with the Census Night being the 27th June 2021.