A Statistician with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) says individuals who refuse to participate in the 2021 digital population and housing census or give false data will be liable to 12 months jail term.
Speaking on The Probe, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim said all persons are mandated to take part in the exercise to ensure the country has accurate 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,” he said.
Prof Annim however told Emefa Apawu that the Service hardly pursues the law when individuals are unwilling to participate in the exercise.
He stated that the GSS would rather convince residents who are doubtful of the process through education, publicity and advocacy on the need to get counted.
“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.”
Prof Annim said that if individuals are still unwilling to participate in the process then the law will have to take effect.
He added that the service is trying its best to ensure that everybody in the country is counted during the census.
“As I indicated, clause 54 is offences and penalty and in there it says that somebody who gives wrongful information or declines to give information is liable to not more than 12 months imprisonment and 200 units of penalty.”
2021 Population Census
The 2021 Population Census is expected to begin on Sunday June 27. The date has been approved by the Presidency and the National Census Steering Committee.
The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC), with the slogan, “You Count, Get Counted” will provide the opportunity for the country to gather credible and comprehensive data on the citizenry towards transforming the economy for sustainable development.
The Census Night will be the reference point for all information to be collected on the population and mark the beginning of the enumeration phase of the 2021 Census exercise.
The GSS is the lead agency for the conduct of the census and has divided the country into 51,921 enumeration areas to ensure easy collection of geospatial data across the 260 metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies.