Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician (R) and Northern Regional Minister Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu

The Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim has appealed to the Northern Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to swiftly address issues of boundary disputes to ensure the successful conduct of the 2021 Population and Housing Census.

He noted that the disputes have always been as a result of disagreements by traditional authorities about boundaries and that the REGSEC should partner with the Regional Census Implementation Committee to minimize the effect of such crises on the census activities particularly at the district implementation committee level. 

The 2021 population and housing census is expected to start on 27 June and end on July 11, 2021.

Professor Annim indicated that the Ghana Statistical Service may be at risk of delaying the census if this is not adequately addressed.

Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, Government Statistician (Seated right) in a group photograph

He regretted that the vulnerable people in hotspot areas may lose out and not counted during the exercise if there are disputes in these parts of the country.

However, Professor Annim acknowledged that there might not be sufficient time to adequately address the menace before the commencement of the census night.

He has therefore emphasised the need to implore pragmatic measures to prevent any tendency that will undermine the census. 

The Government Statistician made the remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu yesterday in Tamale. 

“We will be glad if in your public speeches, you make a clear statement on the need for people to separate the boundary issues from the census being undertaken”, he urged.

Professor pointed out that chieftaincy conflicts are other challenges that require the intervention of the REGSEC to ensure easy access to all areas.

Meanwhile, the Northern Regional Minister in his remarks, gave his full assurance to the Regional Census Implementation Committee to have a successfully conduct of the population and housing census without impediment whatsoever in the region.

He said data is a necessary factor for government to channel any form of development to the northern region, positing that, “I cannot ask for development for my people if I don’t know the number of people, the number of properties within my jurisdiction.

“For instance, these days, there is a lot of water shortage in Tamale and we need data to know the number of people that we will be feeding water; and housing, we need data to know the number of people who have houses or those who do not have housing opportunities and all that”, the Northern Regional Minister added.