The State Minister for Finance Amos Lugolobi has asked planners in government ministries, departments and agencies to ensure the use of relevant official statistics for effective implementation of policies and programs.
Addressing the Board of Directors, ExCom and management of Uganda Bureau of Statistics during their recent retreat at Serena hotel Kigo, Lugoloobi noted that a number of government programs, investments and projects have not been successful due limited use of relevant statistical indicators in planning and implementation.
“You need data before launching any policy because you can do nothing without statistics. Policy and investment decisions can only succeed through the use of empirical evidence,”Lugoloobi said.
The minister noted that the Executive and other statistical users have for nearly a decade now recognised the work of Uganda Bureau of Statistics as exhibited in their policy pronouncements and at national events by quoting statistics from the bureau.
Lugolobi applauded UBOS for the great job done and appealed to them to ensure proper and efficient coordination of the National Statistical System (NSS) to produce integrated, coherent and reliable statistics for development.
In addition, he asked UBOS to ensure that relevant data is made available, accessible and simplified for effective policy formulation, implementation and investment by policy makers and the general public.
On the issue of challenges such as inadequate technical equipment for data collection faced by UBOS, the minister assured the board that he is doing whatever is possible at ministerial level to have them addressed as soon as possible.
The UBOS Chief Executive Director, Dr Chris Mukiza reported to the minister that Covid-19 pandemic is one of the major challenges which have affected the implementation of a number of their activities
He appealed to the Minister of Finance for increased funding to cover the shortfalls in financial year 2021\22, adding that the increment will enable them implement the National Population and Housing Census in 2023 and re-develop their premises in Entebbe.
“The funding will also strengthen and modernise administrative data in the National Statistical System and deepen Community Information System (CIS) for the Parish Development Model (PDM). This will further facilitate development of the required statistical infrastructure,”Dr.Mukiza noted.
The UBOS Executive Director appealed to the minister to fast track the amendment of UBOS Act to harmonise and streamline statistical production and development in Uganda.
According to Dr Albert Byamugisha, the chairman board of directors, UBOS collects high quality and timely data on social, demography and economic affairs.
“ This is highly required for monitoring and evaluating progress in achieving national and international development agenda such as National Development Plan III (NDPIII), Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other regional frameworks like African Union Agenda 2063 and East African Community (EAC) Agenda 2050,”he said.