Monrovia – The Government of Liberia and international partners have reaffirmed their commitment to delivering on the 2022 National Population and Housing Census.
The Census is aimed at getting the total number of persons and housing types along with their characteristics in every Liberian city, town or village It helps in planning various educational, health, housing and other social services. It helps the business and private sectors to plan their activities to benefit the economic development of the country.
Liberia has not carried out a Census since 2008, although one is scheduled after every ten years, according to the 1986 Liberian constitution. The census is expected to provide additional constituencies, ahead of the 2023 general and presidential elections in Liberia.
The conduct of the census, which was lastly scheduled for October 24, has suffered series of setbacks ranging from allegations of corruption involving authorities at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), irregularities, including poor timing, ineffectiveness, and inefficiency in the training of enumerators, among others.
In recent weeks, some international organizations have been exerting efforts to discourage the payment of “sitting fees” for the impartation of knowledge or education into those attending workshops or seminars in the country.
It can be recalled the Speaker of the House of Representatives Bhofal Chambers announced that the House met with top officials of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and agreed to push the starting date of the Census by additional 15 days.
This means, the national census will now kick off on November 22, 2022, instead of October 24, this Monday.
The news comes amid a chaotic recruitment exercise that has brought LISGIS, who has earlier been rocked by integrity problem, under the spotlight again for all the negative reasons.
Across the country, thousands of applicants who accepted to undergo LISGIS’ training to serve as enumerators have complained that their names were omitted after successfully passing the aptitude test, the last step for qualification.
Census on course
In a release signed by Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah and Niels Scott, Resident Coordinator, United Nations Liberia Co-Chair on Census Committee, the government and its partners said the technical and logistical challenges arose due to unforeseen lapses in the Census Enumerators recruitment process.
The Government and its international partners said to ensure transparency and accountability in the recruitment, they have received the processes and have commissioned a Technical Committee to review applications received and ensure due process in the selection of the potential enumerator based on specific technical criteria in respect of all applications received.
“The Committee has the task of ensuring that only those who applied through the application postal to serve as Census Enumerators are recruited. The final list of trainees will be published no later the 29 October 2022, and all interested individuals are invited to view the names of successful candidates on LISGIS website: www.lisgis.gov.lr,” the government and its international partners said in a press release.
The Government and its international partners also reaffirmed that appropriate compensation package for enumerators and supervisors will be provided, which includes reimbursement for expenses, related to tablets, charging, tour guides, trainings, transportation, and refreshments.