By PATRICK TALU
SUCCESSIVE governments have been making decisions based on a 34-year-old consumer price index (CPI) to measure the country’s economic activities.
The CPI covers the country’s productivity, expenditure and household income of all sectors.
It is the basket of goods and services which are measured against price stability, inflation and deflation based on household income and expenditure patterns.
The CPI issue surfaced when The National asked acting national statistician Joe Aka why it had taken 34 years for the National Statistic Office (NSO) to conduct the 2010 household income expenditure survey (HEIS) during a media conference last Friday.
It was revealed that the for the past three decades since 1975, when the first HEIS was conducted, Mr Aka said every decision on household economy, productivity, measure of economic activities to determine the CPI was based on outdated statistics and assumptions.
He said the second HEIS, conducted in 1996, was abandoned for reasons known only to the Government.
The acting statistician said the long overdue survey was due to the Government’s negligence to fund NSO to update the necessary information.
“HEIS and the national census are very important to help the Government determine the socio-economic well-being of the people.
“Without the necessary information, any decision made can be deemed as irrelevant and does not reflects the real situation on the ground,” he said.
NSO deputy director Francisca Tinebar has appealed to selected household heads and family members to cooperate with the HEIS teams that were going around villages and towns to collect data.
Mrs Tinebar said HEIS would obtain important information that reflected accurately the socio-economic well-being of the population.