Census ready to roll-out after 13 years

Hundreds at an election rally in PNG

The 2024 Papua New Guinea National Population Census is on track and ready to kick-off next week Monday, 17 June 2024. 

The minister for Administrative Services Richard Masere and the stakeholders of the National Census 2024 in a press conference reaffirmed the country that census is on track to conduct the event. 

“I’m privileged to announce to Papua New Guinea that the census is on track, and we are all geared up to deliver the census after 13 years,” said Masere. 

Post PNG and Air Niugini will be assisting with the movement of census enumerators and equipment throughout this week across the country, in preparation for the rollout of the census. 

Masere thanked the Census management on behalf of the Prime Minister and his ministerial team for working tirelessly around the clock to have preparations finalised for commencement next week. 

The government has spent K17.9 million (US$4.65 million) to procure 22,000 tablets including its accessories from Max Industries, to aid in the census data entry. 

The National Statistician John Igitoi revealed that NSO has partnered with Digicel to obtain Access Point names (APN) with Digicel amounting to K5.1 million (US$1.32 million). 

The Census Director Hajily Kele said that her team have been preparing since 2019, but due to covid 19, the training was paused for 3 years until recently. 

“First and second, and third tier training for enumerators has been concluded, we are ready now to commence the census,” said Kele. 

Around 20 thousand enumerators or workers have been recruited with more than 15 thousand of them being teachers. 

The reason for recruiting more teachers lie where data interpretation would be easier given the knowledge they possess. 

Masere said that the original budget for the census was K300 million (US$78 million) he has utilised his connections from the private sector to reduce the census funding to K150 million (US$39 million). 

The only challenges that lie ahead is with the landscape, infrastructure and the remoteness of some locations in the country. 

In the case of the inaccessibility to remote parts of the country, Minister Masere clarified that his office has sought assistance from the Australian High Commission who will assist in supplying satellite imagery in isolated places.