Chief Census Officer, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, has warned that anyone who declines to be counted during the 2021 Population and Housing Census would be fined not less than 200 penalty units, equivalent to GHc2,400.00 or spend 12 months in prison or both.
He said Section 54 of the Ghana Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003), had clearly outlined various offences and penalties for offenders and urged the public to cooperate with the census officers to prevent any sanctions.
His call comes in the wake of reports and incidences at Krowor and Ledzokuku in the Greater Accra Region, and Talensi, Bongo, and Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, where some residents denied access to census officers from listing and chalking their structures.
Prof Annim, addressing the media in Accra, said it was not the Ghana Statistical Service’s practice of prosecuting persons who declined counting, however, it would be compelled to enforce the provisions in the Act if the need arose.
He, therefore, said everybody living within the confines of Ghana must avail him or herself to be counted during the 14-day national exercise.
Prof Annim said it was the civic responsibility of persons living in the country, including foreigners, to be counted in order to inform policy formulation and decision-making.
He said the Census Night focused on counting persons travelling (in transit), outdoor sleepers and those who spent the night in guest houses and hotels, among other.
However, counting of households and institutions would commence from Monday; June 28 to July 11, 2021.
“If by July 8 you’re not counted, individuals could call toll free number-0800426426 or regular numbers-0591476893 and 0591476895 for assistance,” he said.
Responding to some concerns raised by Census Monitoring Coalition over the issue of their remuneration, insurance and security, Prof Annim said every census field officer agreed and signed a contract, and would enforce the terms without infringing on anyone’s rights.
Meanwhile, 97 per cent of data in the 51,922 Enumeration Areas have been captured and 98.3 per cent of structures listed and chalked.
The listing and chalking of an estimated 11 million structures started from June 13 and ended on June 23, 2021.