Speaking at the recent Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) retreat at Serena Kigo, Amos Lugolobi, the minister of state for Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) told the board of directors and Management that, "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.”
He said most of government programmes, investments and projects have failed due limited use of relevant statistical indicators in planning and implementation. He said the executive and other statistical users have learned to appreciate the work of Uganda Bureau of Statistics over the last 10 years because they quote Ubos statistics in their policy pronouncements and at national events.
Lugolobi commended Ubos for the great job done and appealed to the bureau to ensure proper and efficient coordination of the National Statistical System (NSS) to produce integrated, coherent and reliable statistics for development.
He also nudged the bureau 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.
Commenting on the inadequate technical equipment for data collection at the Bureau, the minister assured the board that he is doing everything possible at the ministerial level to have that addressed. Dr Chris Mukiza, the executive director/chief statistician of UBOS, reported that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the implementation of a number of bureau activities.
He appealed to the parent Finance ministry to increase funding to cover the shortfalls in the financial year 2021/22, to enable the bureau implement the National Population & Housing Census in 2023, re-develop UBOS premises in Entebbe, strengthen and modernise administrative data in the National Statistical System and deepen the Community Information System (CIS) for the Parish Development Model (PDM), in addition to developing the required statistical infrastructure.
The executive director appealed to the minister to fast-track the amendment of the UBOS Act to harmonise and streamline statistical production and development in Uganda. He noted that this initiative will enable users to appreciate integrated, coherent, accurate and reliable data for evidence based planning and investment decisions.
Dr Albert Byamugisha, the chairman board of directors of Ubos, noted that the bureau 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 promised that his team is ready and committed to serve beyond expectations during its three year tenure, which started in September 2020.