Liberia: Senate to Recite LISGIS over Population Census Delay

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 MONROVIA – The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has mandated its Committee on Autonomous Commission & Agencies to recite the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).

 The Committee will recite LISGIS to discuss and address all the challenges that will lead to the Senate’s intervention for the conduct of the National Census.

In its decision, the Plenary mandated the Committee on Judiciary to be added to the Committee on Autonomous Commission & Agencies and instructed that LISGIS be brought back before the Committee to discuss all of the debatable issues, which arose in Plenary as a result of recommendations contained in the report and revert to Plenary in two weeks with the necessary advice.

The findings contained in the report, which was presented to the Plenary on Tuesday indicated that based on the exchanges with the Director-General, Francis Wreh and other authorities, it was realized that even though a census has not been held since 2008, LISGIS as a statistics and survey house has been conducting some surveys for the purpose of generating national database.

 These, according to the Committee, include Composite, Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire, Labor Force and Human Rights Surveys (2010 and 2016/2017), Demographic and Health Surveys (2013 and 2019/2020) and Household Income and Expenditure Surveys (2014-2016).

Accordingly, the Committee report also revealed that even though there is a basket fund created for the Census to be managed by the UNFPA where financial contributions to the Census are lodged, US$8m contributed by the World Bank is being lodged with the Public Financial Management Unit (PFMU) at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

Also, according to one of the findings contained in the report, the pre-requisite or pre-test activities for the Census have been completed including the training of Census Enumerators and Supervisors.

The exchanges further disclosed that the budget for the Census nationwide is US$23.2m, about US$16.6m has been received by LISGIS and expended to procure materials for the = census activities.

Additionally, the Committee mentioned that the Government of Liberia is expected to come forth with its direct budget support to LISGIS with a total payment of US$3.7m.

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