Employees who were engaged to collect data as part of the 2018 Ghana Census on Agriculture (GCA) have served notice to the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) that they will embark on a nationwide demonstration if it does not pay them their allowances.
The Ghana Census on Agriculture project, which was launched by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region, is to collect data which will enable government formulate strategies and policies, as well as monitor and evaluate policies in the agriculture sector.
Accordingly, the Ghana Statistical Services (GSS) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in April and August 2018, recruited people to administer what it called “Core and Community Module questionnaires of the Ghana Census of Agriculture (GCA)”.
The census, which is a collaborative effort between the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), with technical support from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), will collect, process and disseminate information on the nature and structure of agriculture.
It is emerging that in April employees were supposed to, among other things, collect data from households in designated areas across the country, for which they were promised a daily allowance of GH¢100 to be paid at an accumulative sum of GH¢1,400 every two weeks.
The August project also had similar responsibilities except that they were required to work for 78 days and earn a sum of GH¢ 6,800, which was supposed to have been paid in three installments: 15%, 40% and 45%.
However, it turned out that the last installment has not been paid three months after the project was completed.
There now appears to be a scuffle between the employees and the GSS, a situation which is likely to deteriorate into a showdown in the coming days.
According to the employees, who have formed the Coalition of National Enumerators and Supervisors (CONES) to demand what is due them, the GSS has reneged on its previous promises to pay their allowance more than twice, an attitude they will not countenance.
On March 20, 2019, the GSS wrote to the Coalition and apologised for its inability to “fulfill its promise to pay the remaining field allowance due to Supervisors and Enumerators of the GCA”.
“This was due to unforeseen technical challenges that the GCA has been faced with since February,” the letter signed by the Project Coordinator, Anthony Amuzu Pharin, explained.
The letter expressed GSS’s hopes to resolve the said challenges by the end of April so that the allowances would be paid.
But the Coalition, in response, said members are dissatisfied with the conduct of the GSS and “can’t accept the terms and conditions given”.
It insists it has fulfilled its part of the contract and does not see how technical challenges should affect the members.
It further noted that the language and tone of the GSS letter do not give its members confidence that their allowances will be paid, thus a resolve “to hit the streets to tell our story” if their allowances are not paid by March 31.