Census at 10-year intervals ‘useless’, says Kikala

National, Normal

A NATIONAL census conducted at 10-year intervals is “useless” and does not contribute meaningful data towards planning and budgeting and it should be done annually, says National Planning and District Development Vice Minister, Philip Kikala.
Mr Kikala yesterday called on Planning and District Development Minister Paul Tiensten and Secretary Joseph Lelang to review the current system settings and opt for an annual census.
This was in reaction to the launch of the 2010 National Census on Monday.
Mr Kikala did not say why he was against his Government colleagues, but only said he was concerned that the Government was not taking into consideration that proper planning and budgeting must be centred on accurate demographic information that changes yearly.
“Births, deaths, marriages, education and the economic activities of people change every year, therefore records should be collected yearly as those collected every 10 years will be outdated and useless for short and medium term planning,” he said.
He urged that census and collection of vital information must be progressive and undertaken in districts and the ministry responsible must ensure manpower is beefed and resources are pumped into the districts to ensure this was done.
He raised his concerns at a press conference yesterday and used the opportunity to welcome the appointment of Andrew Kumbakor as minister for agriculture.
Mr Kikala said agriculture can raise millions of revenue for PNG and the Government must ensure it supports the ministry and that adequate funding is provided.