Resign or be fired!
A very controversial mid-term census has kicked off in very low key, amidst widespread criticism stubbornly ignored by the leadership of Statistics Sierra Leone (Stats-SL) at an estimated budget of between USD 12 and 19 million.
Opposition Members of Parliament were the first to raise the red flag against conducting the so-called mid-term census on the solid grounds of improper procedure in laying the legal instrument in Parliament to legitimize the census.
Just on the eve of the census, the World Bank, a major financier of the census backpedaled by withholding their complete financial and technical support to the Government, accusing Stats-SL of failing to deliver on some of the final remaining steps, actions and technical verifications contained in the road map multilaterally agreed by the Bank, UNFPA and Stats-SL task team.
Specifically, some of these grey areas include evaluation of the pilot census, the field operation plan for the enumeration and adequate training for enumerators. These actions were necessary prior to commencing the collection of data.
No doubt, these constitute enough evidence of ineptitude on the part of the leadership of Stats-SL that should have warranted the President of either oblige the Statistician General to resign or be fired without delay.
Unfortunately, and in their trademark style of forcing their actions on the people, as embodied in the “Paopa” political slogan, the Government has ignored the Bank’s position and gone ahead with the census, damning the consequences.
Foolhardily, by going ahead with a census that is apparently boycotted by a huge chunk of the population, undisputedly defeats the fundamental argument of generating accurate and proper data to correct the anomalies of the last census conducted in 2015. We are therefore calling on the President to sack the Statistician General and investigate him for causing the loss of technical and financial support of the Bank when it is most needed.
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