The National Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) has announced the postponement of the national housing and population census over delayed procurement.
As earlier approved by the cabinet, the national census was scheduled to take place on August 24-25, 2023. The new date for the census exercise is yet to be revealed.
However, addressing the media on Thursday UBOS deputy executive director, Godfrey Nabongo noted that not having confirmed funding in time led to delayed procurement, triggering the decision to postpone the census.
“Until you have confirmed funding, you don’t proceed with the procurement. So, we didn’t have confirmed funding at that moment in time,” Nabongo said.
Procurement of tablets
It should be remembered that UBOS had sought Shs132 billion to procure tablets to be used in the census process.
Nabongo told journalists that the Ministry of Finance has already found that money and that now they are able to proceed with the procurement.
He also mentioned that government has been able to secure $10 million (Shs3.7 billion) funding from the World Bank.
According to UBOS, the United Nations will handle the procurement of the tablets through their system directly from their manufacturers.
“When Cabinet announced that there will be a census in August, in the cabinet paper, they approved a process of procuring in a manner that we save resources directly from manufacturers and through the UN system. Because the UN has been supporting many African countries to procure tablets for their censuses,” Nabongo stated.
He added, “It is through the UN system that we shall be getting these tablets at a much lower cost, less than 50% if we went for open bidding,”
Nabondo also mentioned that when the census is complete, tablets, will remain to serve the government at different levels.
“We shall have them in the Local Governments for purposes of strengthening administrative data, purposes of supporting PDM but also in service delivery points like schools, hospitals, police stations..”
It should be noted that government, through UBOS holds a national census every after ten (10) years.
Uganda last held a national census in 2014, and according to findings, the country’s population stood at 36 million.
Based on the latest data from the United Nations, the current population of Uganda is estimated to be 48.9 million.
Meanwhile, UBOS has welcomed the High Court’s dismissal of Henry Dhikusooka’s application in which the former institution’s employee sought restraining orders from being subjected to the disciplinary process.
Dhikusooka was dismissed in May 2023 over gross misconduct offences. However, he contended that he was dismissed on grounds of being a whistle-blower.
While the main suit is yet to be concluded, UBOS says Dhikusooka and other dismissed staff have embarked on a smear campaign to undermine the institution.
Recently, Dhikusooka claimed that the contracts of UBOS executive director and those of board members had expired in March and June 2023 respectively, and that therefore are in office illegally.
Dhikusooka and the group also accused the institution of nepotism and financial management
However, the bureau has refuted the claims as false and malicious propaganda from the disgraced staff.
The bureau clarified that the contracts of executive director and board members are still running, and that they are in office legally.
“The bureau adheres to national laws, guidelines and procedures while executing her mandate of developing, producing and disseminating official statistics, as well as supervising and monitoring the National Statistical System,” UBOS said.