Accra, Dec. 2, GNA- The second phase of the 2003 National Industrial Census (NIC) was launched on Thursday with a call on all industrial establishments in the country to cooperate with census officers of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) who would be undertaking the exercise.
Dr Grace Bediako, Government Statistician, said the Statistical Service Law, 1985, PNDC Law 135, gave her office the legal backing to compel all industrial establishments in the categories to be covered and participate, but she would rather urge those establishments to willingly volunteer information to the GSS officers during the census. She noted that during the first phase of the exercise, which was the identification stage, at least 26,000 industrial establishments in the manufacturing, mining, construction, quarry, water, electricity and gas sectors were identified and their details were captured in a provisional register.
Dr Bediako said the fieldwork, which was the actual registration of the industries, would take off on December 8, 2004, a day after the elections and end on February 15, 2004.
The second phase of the census is targeted at all establishments in the manufacturing sector employing 10 persons or more, and a sample of establishments with less than 10 employees would also be taken. "All establishments in the mining and quarrying, construction, electricity, gas and water sectors will also be covered irrespective of their size," she said.
Dr. Bediako said the Government of Ghana was funding the census at a cost of over 7.5 billion cedis with technical support from UNIDO. Technical support is being funded by DANIDA with 395,000 US dollars.
She noted that the last time an industrial census was conducted in Ghana was 17 years ago in 1987, saying that the data from the census, which she described as obsolete, indicated that Ghana had a little over 8,000 industries in the categories to be covered in the census, except the construction sector.
During the first phase of the 2003 NIC, several industrial establishments, which existed in 1987, had either moved, closed down or expanded and several new industries had been established of which data was needed for national development planning.
Dr Bediako acknowledged that there were several industries described as "car booth and street side industries", which did not have stable locations, saying that provision had been made for those industries to be captured as household industries during the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS).
Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiatives (MTI-PSI), said the census would generate the much-needed database on employment, cost of labour, value addition, capital formation, products and main inputs used in production.
This would fill the missing gaps in the industrial database on the country, create and strengthen capacities and capabilities within the GSS and MTI-PSI for undertaking future censuses and surveys.
Mr Asiedu said the result of the census would provide a reliable and timely database on the types of industries, their locations and addresses, products and existing capacities, employment levels and types of raw materials used, all of which would make development planning in both the public and private sectors very easy.
Mr Solomon Boateng, National Programme Coordinator of UNIDO, assured the public that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure a regular update of the results of the 2003 NIC.
"This is to prevent the re-occurrence of the 17 years void between 1987 and 2003. We have provided consultants to assist the GSS and the Registrar-General's Department to format the NIC data in a way to allow for regular update on annual basis."
Mr Boateng said the other concern of UNIDO was to ensure that the census procedure data was in line with international practice so that results could be comparable to international standards.
In a speech read on his behalf, Nana Akomea, Minister of Information, called on the media to assist in disseminating information on the exercise as a way of encouraging stakeholders to cooperate and ensure the success of the programme.