Parliament has approved an agreement between the government and the International Development Association (IDA) for a $30 million loan and a $10 million grant to finance the Ghana Statistics Development Project (GSDP).
The loan has a grace period of 10 years, repayment period of 30 years and maturity period of 40 years.
Service charge is 0.7 per cent while commitment charge on withdrawn balance is 0.5 per cent per annum.
The GSDP is expected to strengthen the national statistical system in a timely and robust production, analysis and dissemination of quality data relevant for policy-making and other uses.
Specifically, it will enhance the capacity building of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) at the national and regional levels and strengthen the skills of the professional and non-professional staff of the statistical units through the acquisition of goods and the provision of training.
The project will also assist in developing the statistical infrastructure for households, businesses and economic surveys and ensure improvements in the physical infrastructure of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) statistical units and the GSS.
Again, data collection techniques will be modernised through the application of new technologies.
It will facilitate the development of an information technology data centre for official statistics and improve the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of economic and socio-demographic statistics.
Presenting the report of the finance committee on the loan agreement on Wednesday, the Chairman of the committee, Mr James Klutse Avedzi, said the statistical system of Ghana consisted of a large number of MDAS and at the centre was the GSS.
He said the GSS was established in 1985 by PNDC Law 135 which raised the status of the Central Bureau of Statistics from a government department under a ministry to that of an autonomous , independent public service.
The law, he said, also established the Statistical Service Board as the governing body that reported to the presidency.
He intimated that in practice, the GSS was primarily responsible for compiling national accounts and price statistics and conducting large scale household and establishment-based surveys, including the decennial population and housing censuses.
In recent years, he said there had been some notable statistical achievements, including the implementation of the 2010 Population and Housing Census and several key household-based surveys, the rebasing of the national accounts and the development of the first set of quarterly national accounts.
“However, due to poor statistical and institutional frameworks, the GSS is constrained in the production, management and dissemination of quality statistics for planning, informed decision-making and monitoring and evaluation of national and international frameworks such as the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda (GRADATE) and the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs)”.
According to Mr Avedzi, in some MDAs, the production of statistics had decreased over time due to technical and financial constraints, adding that in general, the National Statistical System (NSS) was perceived to be inadequately structured and insufficiently equipped and as such was failing to provide the quality and range of statistics essential for the efficient planning and monitoring of national development.