Recruitment of census agents wasn’t done on partisan basis – GSS

Recruitment of census agents wasn’t done on partisan basis – GSS
Malik Basintale

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), has discredited claims that it recruited agents for the upcoming 2021 housing and population census on partisan basis.

There are reports of the Ghana Statistical Service’s ongoing training of recruits for the exercise facing challengesin some parts of the country after some persons disrupted the exercise alleging bias in the recruitment process.

The opposition National Democratic Congress in the Savannah Region also made the allegation in a statement signed by its Communication Officer, Malik Basintale.

“The NDC- Savannah region has received numerous calls from well-meaning indigenes of the various districts, bringing to our notice the extreme partisan recruitment of the population and housing census staff by the Ghana Statistical Service for the upcoming 2021 population census.”

“It has also been noticed that the various aspiring Municipal and District chief executives have taken this recruitment exercise as one to win the favour of their party footsoldiers thereby ensuring the recruitment of only persons loyal to their course,” portions of the statement indicated.

But speaking on Citi TV’s Point of View, Prof. Annim dismissed this claim, insisting that there were no political considerations during the recruitment process.

He insisted that the rigorous recruitment processes for the census did not give the leeway for agents to be selected based on their political affiliations.

“We started this recruitment process two years ago where we developed an online platform. As at the time we had 233,000 people on our platform. We did a screening of these people to ensure that we have the complete documents and minimum criteria of persons who have an SHS qualification and we scaled the number down to 206,000.”

“We looked at the districts and engaged the district coordinating directors to interview them. They went through this and brought to us the scores for the various interviews. We ranked the scores and sent it back through our regional statisticians for the final communication of persons who had been selected, so nowhere in the process would we think about politicizing the activity.”

The 2021 census will begin across the country on Sunday, June 27, and end on July 11, 2021.

The census is meant to generate data that will be used in decision-making and planning for the development of the country and its citizens.

The census was initially set to begin on March 15, 2020, with the first two weeks expected to be used for listing, a process that comprises the zoning and coding of the number of houses and structures to be covered in the census.

However, it was rescheduled to June 28, 2020, before being finally postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The slogan for the 2021 PHC is “you count, get counted”, with the GSS aiming for comprehensive coverage to ensure that no one is left behind.

President Akufo-Addo has said the exercise is purely a national project devoid of partisanship, hence the need for all citizens to be actively involved.

“I urge all persons, Ghanaians, and non-Ghanaians who will be in Ghana on the census night to be ready to welcome census officials into their communities and place of residence, and also provide the necessary information,” he said at the launch of the 30-day countdown to the 2021 census.

The census is estimated to cost the country GHS 521 million.

 

 

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