Trainee census data collectors agitate over alleged slashed allowances

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Census data collection officers who underwent a ten-day training in the Eastern Region are agitating over what they call attempt to shortchange them with regards to their training allowances.

According to them, they were initially promised GHC50 per day, which came to GHC550 each for transportation but the amount was reduced to Ghc440 and subsequently to Ghc330.

They are therefore threatening to boycott the census if they are not paid the amount promised.

A statement by the Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Annim had said, “on the side of GSS, we will be providing a transport allowance of GH₵330. The first tranche of 30% will be paid after the first week of training. The second tranche of 40% will be paid in the second week of training and the last tranche will be paid three days after the start of the listing.”

He emphasized “trainees that do not complete the training or who are selected but decline will forfeit the final 30%. For trainees who will finally be selected as Enumerators, a lump sum of GH₵2,520 will be paid for the listing and enumeration exercise. For trainees who will be selected as Supervisors, their remuneration will be GH₵2,940 for the listing and enumeration exercise.”

Prof. Annim added that “these amounts will be paid in tranches and the details are provided in the contracts. All payments will be done via G-money and so all trainees should ensure they are registered on G-Money and provide the correct telephone number for payment.”

However, the enumerators and supervisors are unhappy over the variations and they suspect some individuals in charge of the training are up to some mischief.

The Eastern Regional Director of Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Bright Worlanyo Neku however blamed the agitations on miscommunication.

He told journalists that a statement from the Chief Executive of GSS, which was read to the trainees, clearly stated that they will be paid G440 for the ten days, so he does not know where they got the information that they will be paid GHC550.

Mr. Neku said later on they had another communique that even the GHC440 was a mistake so it is now going to be Ghc330 for their T&T and that has even made things worse.

He however assured the trainees that the matter will be resolved and he would ensure that no one is shortchanged.

This year’s census is the first Digital Population and Housing Census in Ghana.

Field Officers are therefore being trained to master the contents of the manual and the use of the tablets they will be working with.

A real-time data collection and real-time data quality monitoring mechanisms to scrutinize the data daily have been synchronized for error identification for correction.

According to the GSS, the monitoring is an additional layer of supervision added to enhance the accuracy of the data collected.

The technology will also offer GSS the opportunity to monitor the movement of enumerators and supervisors, timing, and origin of interaction with servers.

The 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC) is estimated to cost the country GHS 521 million.

Out of this amount, the government has raised and disbursed GHS 467 million for the start of the exercise.

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) says the 2021 census will begin across the country from Sunday, June 27,(Census night). The exercise will run till July 11, 2021.

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