“It’s Time to Fast-track National Population Census”

-Pres. Weah Commissioning 2019 Census Commission

The President of the Republic, H. E. George Manneh Weah, says the conduct of national population census is necessary and unavoidable and must therefore be fast-tracked.

Recalling that the last population census was done in 2008 and that the next round of the census activity should have commenced 2018, President Weah said it becomes an almost imperative for Government and its partners to undertake this very important national process in the coming year.

The Liberian leader thanked the country’s development partners and stakeholders for their enormous support and implored them to continue their cooperation as his government undertakes the pending population census which he described relevant but complex.

“We are ending the first year of our administration very soon, which though may not appear perfect but is not bad at all,” the President told a cheering audience as he made remarks before commissioning a members of a 30-man multi-stakeholder committee December 13 at the C. Cecil Dennis Conference Hall at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“I am very confident that the outcome of the 2019 National Population Census will provide this government and its partners the actual data and information we need to do better in the coming years.”

The President called on members of the Census Commission to work as a team and come out with accurate and quality data and information relevant for the implementation of Government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

He said since the last ten years following the conduct of the 2008 Census, development planners and even ordinary people have not been exact on the actual population data of Liberia, leaving them with guesswork.

With the 2019 Population Census, President Weah said, everyone would be exact and sure of the correct national data critical for the country’s development needs.

Speaking earlier, the Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information, Francis F Wreh, said it would require about US$19.5 million to undertake the 2019 Population Census. He said with a  couple of partners, such as UNFPA, World Bank, Swedish International Development Agency and others expressing their commitment to help defray a significant portion of the money, Government is left with about US$6.8 million.

The LISGIS Director disclosed plans by his agency to host a Donor Conference in early 2019 so that partners and stakeholders will raise the required funds needed to conduct the pending Population Census.

Also making remarks at the ceremony, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah, who is also Chairperson of the Census Commission, averred that Government would make an initial disbursement of US$3 million early next year to the census budget. He said his Ministry was in the final stage of making the disbursement possible in January 2019.

He promised that the Commission, which he chairs, would make use of every available method and best practice to ensure that the 2019 Census becomes the best ever conducted in the country.

The 2019 National Population Census Commission comprises high-level representatives of relevant stakeholders from the public sector, development partners and civil society. It is chaired by the Minister of Finance and Development Planning and co-chaired by the Director-General of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) with a secretariat headed by the National Census coordinator.

The Commission will provide guidance on sectoral technical issues through stakeholder representation regarding development of the census instruments, support the national management institutions already mentioned above and to ensure efficient management of the 2019 NPHC.

Each of them will consist of a broad section of stakeholders of the census exercise.

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