“We need statistics as politicians to show social and economic performance at the village level."
The finance state minister, David Bahati, has asked the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) to collect more conclusive data to help the Government carry out planning for grassroots communities.
Bahati said there was lack of information from the village level to enable planning and development of the country.
"We need statistics as politicians to show social and economic performance at village level. We have information up to the sub-county level but now we need information at village level," he said.
Bahati was on Tuesday, October 13 presiding over the swearing-in of the new board of UBOS at Statistics House in Kampala.
Dr Albert Byamugisha was sworn in as the new board chairperson. Other board members are Dr Joseph Muvawala, Dr Jacob Opolot, Rosette Nakavuma, Bernard Mulengani and Dr Robert Wamala.
The others are the executive director, Dr Chris Ndatira and board secretary Pamela Kansiime Ninsiima. Byamugisha replaced Dr Robin Kibuka, who served for two terms.
Other outgoing board members are Dr Adam Mugume, Dr Albert Musisi, Norah Wandera Katumba and Ruth Biyinzika.
Bahati said despite COVID-19, the production of statistical reports needs to go on.
He said COVID-19 has reduced economic growth from the projected 7% to 3%.
"Statistics show that 68.9% of the economy is still at the subsistence level for the last 19 years. We could not believe UBOS on this. We need to demolish these numbers to bring the subsistence economy to the cash economy through policies of the government," Bahati said.
The Principal Judge, Dr Justice Flavian Zeija, advised board members to read the reports presented to them. "As a board secretary, I would prepare documents and give to board members.
But some board members would come to the meetings without the documents," said Zeija who administered the oath to the new board members.
"A board member who comes to meetings without the documents means he or she has not read them. How will you ask questions without reading the documents? There are penalties for the negligence of board members," Zeija added.
Zeija said it is board members who set the tone of accountability, transparency and good corporate governance by their behaviour. Byamugisha promised to produce timely and quality statistics to meet the user demands of the Government ad various institutions.
"The need to digitise and be able to train data scientists to use big data sources will require support from various stakeholders. The increased use of statistics will lead to evidence-based decision making," he said.
Kibuka advised that UBOS take human resources as a key to success. "While the bureau has resources like vehicles, computers, they have no feelings. If you fail to understand human factors, then management and governance of the institution will not succeed," Kibuka said.