By: Jerromie S. Walters
Monrovia:Prior to the signing into Law by President George WEAH on the set date for the conduct of the 2022 National Census, there were growing skeptism over the delay of the process.
Appearing minutes after the official greenlight for the process, Deputy Director General for Information and Coordination at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services has blamed the Sirleaf-led administration for the repeated delay in the conduct of the census and violation of the constitution. National Population Census was conducted in 2008, with the statistics of 3.5million people counted and documented.
Addressing the Ministry of Information regular press conference on Thursday, September 15, 2022, Mr. Wilmot F. Smith, said the conduct of every census requires a proper preparation which possibly take over a year or two, prior to the stipulated timeframe but noted that was never done ahead of the 2020 timeframe.
Wilmot said if the census was to be conducted in 2020, the Sirleaf led administration should have ensure the signing of the census project document at least in 2015, as well as other preparations that would have taken over a year, for the conduct of the census in 2022.
However, the signing of the census project document with partners was done on October 8, 2019.
By national legal stipulated periodicity, the country, in conformity with many others under the United Nations guidelines on the conduct of censuses, is to conduct the national population and housing census after every ten years. Which is also in pursuant of article 39 of the 1986 constitution of the Republic of Liberia.
Conspicuously as it falls within the bailewick of the United Nations” 2020 round of censuses, Liberia was found in violation of both the UN 2020 round of censuses and article 39 of the 1986 constitution of the Republic of Liberia, as the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services under the George Weah’s administration failed to meet up with the timeframe, following several reports of corruption.
Over a year of struggle following the violation of the constitutional periodicity, the National Legislature by and through a joint resolution designated October 24th, through November 7th 2022, as the period for the conduct of Liberia’s 5th national population and housing census.
At the same time, LISGIS’ Deputy Director General for Information and Coordination assured the institution’s readiness in ensuring that the designated timeframe given by the Legislature is adhered to.
Wilmot said the institution have exhausted the training of 110 master trainers, while training for 591 trainers of trainees will be conducted from September 26th through October 5th 2022, in six statistical regions.
He further stressed that training for 17,029 enumerators and supervisors will take place in mid October 2022, at the 148 training sites nationalwide.
Mr. Wilmot F. Smith however alluded that
LISGIS plan for equipping, deploying, mobilizing and monitoring 15 county census officers, 154 census District officers, 2760 supervisors, and 13,800 enumerators are being reviewed daily at the LISGIS command and control center.