Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament on the Finance Committee have rejected a proposal by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) to conduct a National Census in 2022.
The last national household and population census was carried out in 2014 and the custom is to hold a census after every 10 years.
However, MPs were surprised by a request for sh318 million in the coming financial year 2019/2020 by UBOS for planning activities in preparation for a census.
The funds are listed as part of the sh25.7 billion unfunded priorities for the institution in the next financial year. The Finance committee is currently scrutinizing the budget framework paper for the institution.
The Finance Committee Chairperson Henry Musasizi queried why UBOS wants to hold a census two years early.
Imelda Atai Musana, the acting UBOS Executive Director explained that there are international census guidelines that compel all countries to have conducted a census between 2015 and 2024.
She argued that the East African Community (EAC) council of ministers had ruled that all member countries hold a census by 2023 in preparation for the Monetary Union.
However, MPs raised an objection noting that changing the timeline will confuse the public.
Their position was seconded by the State Minister for Planning David Bahati who said preparations for the census can begin in 2022 but the census year should remain 2024.
Meanwhile, MPs led by Pian County legislator Achia Rwemigio demanded for statistics on livestock and crops in the country. He said that the livestock sector has been largely ignored and remains disorganized.
Musana said that the agricultural census has been budgeted for in the next financial year although it remains unfunded priority. A total of 18.3 billion Shillings has been budgeted to conduct the agricultural census.