Census deferred to 2024

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THE national population and housing census has been deferred yet again – this time to 2024 – raising concern over its effect on the 2022 national election and national development programmes.
In a full-page newspaper advertisement yesterday, acting National Statistician John Igitoi blamed the current Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason behind the deferral.
“As a responsible State agency, we need to adhere and execute government measures and strategies in the interest of the nation impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
Former census director Bernard Kiele said yesterday that the census, which was to happen last year, was deferred to July this year. Now it has been deferred again to an unconfirmed date in 2024.
“For it to be delayed again is not right,” Kiele said.
He said a census was one of the most important government programmes to collect data for national planning purposes.
It is supposed to be carried out every 10 years. The last one was conducted in 2011.
Kiele said using the Covid-19 as an excuse for the postponement was wrong.
“Census is done by (officials) going to wards and numerate a household head or the responsible person,” he said.
“It is a one-on-one exercise.
“You can observe all the Covid-19 protocols without putting lives at risk.”
Kiele said the deferral would not help the 2022 general election which would be forced to use figures from the census 10 years ago.


  • “use figures from the census 10 years ago” Are you serious? Who does that in the 21st century?
    Using Covid-19 pandemic as the only reason for deferral of National Census, a vital activity of national importance is just bad! You can observe Covid-19 protocols when undertaking the roll updates. In other words, you are saying PNG can’t go to polls in 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions when recently PNG held one of its by-elections right in the middle of capital city Port Moresby at a time when Covid-19 cases were said to be at its peak in PNG.
    How can PNG go to polls with “figures from the census 10 years ago”? How can the Government effectively plan and deliver service to the people by relying on figures from the 10 years?
    This is just ridiculous.

  • Young citizens who were ten years back then when the last national census was conducted will now be eligible voters come 2022 election. How can these people vote if the common roll update is not even starting off and we are in July with 8 months before the issue of writs.

    Can the citizens bring the Government to court for the neglect and depriving citizens to exercise democratic right to vote?

  • Same old excuses,what population and housing lies. What houses have you built for public servants? If Australia can manage its 30 million plus population what is this office doing to its people here in PNG?

  • An ill informed decision by the Acting National Statistician. Is it really because of Covid-19 or something else???

  • This is another clear indication of the downward trend the country has embarked on since JM became PM. The money situation in the country is not looking good at all. Just look around you, especially in the major towns. Deteriorating roads, blocked drainage, frequent power blackouts, rising criminal activities, high inflation, rising prices of goods and services, depreciation of our kina, bad foreign exchange situation, depleted foreign reserves, etc… The list is endless. Of course the real reason for this delay is there. Covid 19 is just being used as a scapegoat. I can assure you of that.
    What a backward decision and move…very bad for the country. Just goes to show there is no real political will to move this country forward. What a shame!!!!!

  • This is a slackness and incompetency at it’s best. Again, corruption is making people to under perform, then blame it on something else.

    Was there any funds allocated for the census last year? If money was allocated, then what has happened to the funds now??

  • This is clearly an excuse. It shows lack of planning and leadership in this section. Roll this out, we still have time and then remove these old brains and insert new brain to take on the administration.

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