Although the main enumeration for this year’s Housing and Population Census during the financial year of 2022/2023 was estimated to be N$950 million, the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) said it was able to adopt measures to further reduce the budget to about N$606 million.
“Over 11 500 staff will be recruited, over 2 400 vehicles to be hired, and 11 500 tablets were to be purchased for the use of data collection during the census,” said Alex Shimuafueni, CEO of NSA, yesterday during a media briefing.
Earlier this week, New Era reported the NSA would receive tablets from Kenya for free. However, the new budget stipulates these devices will instead be purchased.
The NSA will in August carry out the National Population and Housing Census, conducted every decade, after a delay last year due to budgetary constraints and the impact of Covid-19.
The NSA CEO noted there are indications the agency will be allocated about N$500 million for the main enumeration phase for the 2022/2023 financial year.
The original census budget estimates for the complete phases, which span from 2017 to 2025, was estimated to be in the region of N$1.1 billion.
According to Shimuafeni, the census budget has been revised during every medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period, which is in line with government budget processes.
“During budget revisions, cost-effective ways of undertaking a national census were considered, thus including collaborations with other government institutions where possible,” he said.
In terms of the initial budget of N$1.1 billion, Shimuafueni added for the 2017-2021 financial years, pre-census activities were estimated at N$159 million.
Then, for the post-census phase for 2023 to 2025 financial years, the budget is slightly above N$12 million.
From this amount, monies are allocated to census data cleaning, processing, the main report and thematic reports production.
The CEO further noted, to date, the NSA has received total funding of N$209.7 million, of which N$179.4 million came from the government through the National Planning Commission (NPC), and the N$30.3 million came from other government institutions.
This funding is geared towards the census over the two financial years, covering pre-enumeration activities.
Furthermore, it was revealed the development budget ceiling to carry out the main census in 2022 to the 2023 financial year, as communicated by NPC, currently stands at N$500 million, reduced from N$606.9 million as earlier communicated in the previous MTEF.
This represents an 18% reduction in the development budget.
Shimuafeni added: “The N$500 million will cover the main census enumeration, and the largest allocation is towards the required workforce and transportation. The budget ceiling for post enumeration activities planned for 2023 to 2024 stands at N$2 million”.
To make up for the shortfall, Shimuafueni stated the NSA held a resource mobilisation conference in February 2021 and received pledges worth over N$40 million in both cash and kind from various government offices as well as the private sector.
Namibia will for the first time conduct a spatially enabled and digital census enumeration.
Shimuafeni affirmed the staff to be recruited will undergo training to equip them with the knowledge and skills required to undertake statistical collection for the census.
He added additional resources will also be needed for the health, safety and security of the field staff, given the prevailing Covid-19 environment.