Stats SL Vows to Provide Credible Data for National Development
Making his presentation on behalf of Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL) during the ongoing 2018-2019 Bilateral Budget Discussion at the Sierra Leone Bank Complex, Kingtom in Freetown on the 26th September 2018, the Statistician General (SG), Prof. Osman Sankoh, has vowed to provide Credible Data system for National Development with support from the government under the Ministry of Finance (MOF) by approving and providing timely budgetary allocations with key consideration on disbursement protocols.
According to SG, Stats SL is ready to becoming a winner under his regime noting that Stats SL has already planned various national priorities which include Quality Education, Health, Water, Energy, Agriculture, Economy, Corruption, Security among other valuable sector to stabilized or shaped the economy adding that Stats SL has its mandate which was created by the Statistics Act of 2002.
Pro.Sankoh noted that Stats SL has an Act that established Statistics Sierra Leone as a body corporate for the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of official and other statistics in order to guide policy makers to make informed decisions. He said the vision of Stats SL is to create a viable National Statistical System (NSS) with Stats SL at the centre for the coordination, production, dissemination and accreditation of official statistics to support evidence-based decision-making processes at both policy and planning levels.
“We are ready to give you accurate data collection with official mandate to provide credible data for national development’’, Prof. Sankoh assured. ‘’We have created a national statistical system to incorporate other key players like Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) ,Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Media institutions among other in a bid to demonstrate commitment and financial discipline for the fiscal year 2019’’ he maintained adding that Stats SL has also created an environment for the National Statistical System to generate micro and macro data including survey and administrative data collections. He also spoke about the 2018 Sierra Leone Integrated Household Survey (SLIHS) which according to him is a nationwide survey supported by Government and World Bank to collect detailed information on household incomes and expenditures.
He said that Stats SL will continue to demonstrate commitment as a responsible institution charged with the responsibility of collecting accurate information for national development and that they intend to initiate the 2018-2022 Country –Wide Mortality Surveillance for Action (COMSA) Project to collect data on mortality in collaboration with the Toronto University in Canada which he said was funded by the Gates Foundation through the University management.
Pro. Sankoh confirmed that Stats SL will work with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS) and also the National Commission for Registration Authority (NCRA) for proper data collection adding that Stats SL has planned activities for the FY 2019 with five key deliverables.
He said Stats SL has numerous challenges with regards the late and inadequate disbursement of funds to carry out routine statistical activities and administrative operations. He added that Stats SL still has poor infrastructure with office buildings at the Headquarter and District offices together with low salary scale for staff of Stats SL.
The SG continued that if MOF can provide the necessary support that Stats SL needs they will be able to raise extra funds from the sales of maps to tourists with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs adding Stats SL has upgrade from paper system of data collection to more of ICT-based data collection and processing to ensure reliability and timely delivery of statistical results.
He appealed to MOF technical team to approve their budget so that Stats SL will continue to deliver quality and standard data for National Development.
Speaking on behalf of MOF, the Director of Procurement, Mohamed Musa commends Prof. Sankoh for delivering and presenting their budget cogently with key tangible deliverables for 2017 -2018 but advised SG to design standard procurement plans for 2019.
He said MOF is very much concerned with the procurement procedures of all MDAs, local councils and state own enterprises (SOEs) and he also mentioned the need to provide proper procurement plans to display accountability and transparency.
By Alhassan Bangura
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