Kwaku Kwarteng

THE New Patriotic Party has appealed to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) not to assume that any criticism of its work is an attack on its credibility.

In a statement issued yesterday in Accra and signed by Kweku Kwarteng, Policy Advisor to the party, it noted that the Ghana Statistical Service, as a state institution, needed to receive feedback on its work and use such feedback to improve its performance and output.

According to the NPP, Dr Bawumia’s call for the nation to equip the GSS so that it could improve what it did was nothing new.

“The GSS may recall that on 5th July 2011, upon a request from the policy desk of the NPP, it provided the prices the Service had collected from markets across the country which it had used for GSS’s inflation calculations.  The data they provided covered the first 5 months (January to May) of 2011. A look at the data however revealed some disturbing observations.”

Taking for example an issue of prices of zero Ghana cedis, which appeared in the data, the NPP said 18 percent of the prices from which the GSS calculated inflation rates were given as zero Ghana cedis (GH¢0.00).

“What this means in practice is that those items are sold for free in the markets. Some of the examples are that:

i. Kwahu Praso has 3 market-places from which prices are taken. The price of maize (item code 002) at all the 3 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.NEW PATRIOTIC PARTY

ii. Ho has 6 market-places in the dataset. The price of local rice (item code 005) at all the 6 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

iii. Koforidua has 6 market-places. The price of flour (item code 009) at all the 6 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

iv. Sefwi Bekwai has 3 market-places. The price of kenkey with fried fish (item code 073) at all the 3 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

v. Cape Coast and Kumasi have 6 market-places each. Property tax (item code 149) at all their 6 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

vi. In Sunyani, cost of construction & repairs (item code 151) at all the 6 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

vii. In Cape Coast, a gallon of Mobil oil (item code 218) at all the 6 market-places in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.

viii. In Tumu, taxi fare for standard distance (item code 221) at all the 3 marketplaces in each of the 5 months has been given as GH¢0.00.”

The opposition added that some items were also missing in the data provided by GSS.

“For example, 17 percent of the prices from which the GSS calculated inflation rates were completely missing from the dataset.

“The NPP believes that it is the responsibility of the public to help the Ghana Statistical Service improve its work. It is in this spirit that we make these observations. We hope the GSS will take the observations in good faith and take steps to address them.”

 By Samuel Boadi

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