The National Statistical Office (NSO) says it needs an additional K9 billion for it to effectively conduct the September 2018 Population and Housing Census (PHC).
Parliament approved K21.3 billion for the exercise, according to NSO commissioner Mercy Kanyuka.
She said NSO has asked for additional funds because donors who promised to give them tablets for electronic data capture, reversed the decision at the eleventh hour, leaving them with no option, but to ask for a consideration during the Mid-Year Budget Review.
Kanyuka said NSO planned to use about 30 000 tablets for data capture using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (Capi), which the donors pledged to provide, but later changed tune, saying they would rather donate the gadgets to schools.
In an interview, she also said as part of lobbying for the cash, her office approached the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Service Reforms to help sensitise other members of the House to consider the request and allocate the money to the office.
“No donor has come up with a clear commitment towards the census and this is threatening the timely implementation of the exercise. That is why we are appealing to the members of Parliament to consider revising upwards the 2017/18 Budget allocation to the census during the Mid-Year Budget Review,” said Kanyuka.
The total budget for the 2018 PHC is K21.3 billion excluding census mapping, which is largely dependent on government. Treasury has so far released K1.7 billion for census mapping budget, said Kanyuka.
Commenting on the issue, Dedza East legislator Juliana Lunguzi said it was unfortunate that NSO is struggling with finances yet Parliament approved money for the exercise to take place. n