Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) : Statistics for Planning

Home Business Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) : Statistics for Planning

By Ipumbu Sakaria

WINDHOEK – From the onset, we from the Namibia Statistics Agency would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. Prosperity can be viewed from various different angles. These angles generally include health, wealth and knowledge of thyself. Since it is the beginning of the new year, and many Namibians are familiar with the worries experienced every January, I would like to focus my attention on the wealth aspect of prosperity.

Wealth usually deals with how we manage, spend, or utilize our money. Some spend it on constructive things whilst others spend it on rather non-constructive things. Nonetheless, money is acquired in some way and leaves our pockets at the end of the day through another way.

Some financial experts always indicate that it is important for a person to know where their money goes. This not only helps us understand our own lifestyles but also provides us with an opportunity to make amendments where we deem it fit. Knowing is always better than not knowing,for the individual as well as the state. Not knowing, as I am sure you will all agree with me, is a recipe for disaster.

At the NSA we are also interested to know where our population’s money goes and hence will this year conduct a national survey to understand the income and expenditure patterns of our people. In short, it means we shall examine how much money people get and how they spend it. As indicated above, it is better to know than not to know. You might, of course, ask what we are going to do with this information.

Well, the information will be used for understanding the socio-economic condition of our people and will be used as indicators for planning purposes. For example, it will describe the living conditions of Namibians using actual patterns of consumption and income. For demonstration sake, if someone earns N$1 000 a month, and spends most of his salary on the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing then it provides a clear perspective that such a person is only barely able to afford his living and is considered poor because that is all they can afford. It might also prove that the cost of living in Namibia is rather high.

On the other hand, if someone earns N$10 000 and spends the majority of his income on luxury items such as vehicles, fancy clothes, entertainment and electronic gadgets, amongst others, it might show that poverty is not as rampant but that we as Namibians rather have our priorities completely wrong. This on the other hand would indicate that the cost of living is not as high as we presume it to be but rather that wrong planning and prioritization are the cause of our misery.

However, you might also find a situation where someone has no income at all but has to struggle to make ends meet in order for him to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. All these indicators can serve as alarm bells to our leaders and lawmakers in order to understand the reality on the ground and come up with appropriate action to alleviate these types of situations.

Now, this survey will be known as the Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES) and will be done in two parts. The first part will serve as a pilot survey and will be conducted from the 23rd February 2015 until the 8th March 2015. This pilot survey will provide us with an analysis of whether our instruments are as sound as we want them to be.

The main survey will start on the 27th April 2015 and will run until the 1st April 2016; hence it will last for the entire year.

A sample of households will be visited and the interviewers will spend two weeks, 14 days, in each household administering the questionnaire whilst a daily record book will be handed to the household to record all their daily spending for one week.

The survey will be conducted in all regions of the country and is expected to yield estimates at regional, urban and rural levels. As usually, you are all obliged to cooperate with this exercise for the sake of our own prosperity.