Liberia: Tweah Raps On Census Ownership

Liberia's Finance and Development Planning Minister and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., has encouraged government's officials and institutions to collectively own the upcoming 2021 National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) process.

Minister Tweah said it was important that the census is collectively owned because it will provide updated data set critical for national development and help re-premise the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development on those data.

The Minister emphasized that the 2021 NPHC is particularly relevant as the government moves to what he terms as "a more data-centric governance in which policies and decisions will be based on more reliable data".

He, however, praised the 2008 NPHC upon which the PAPD is premised as a great census that set the country on the trajectory of development by providing relevant statistics for development planning.

The Minister was speaking Tuesday, October 8 in Monrovia at the signing of the 2021 National Population Housing Census Project Document between the Government of Liberia and partners.

Tuesday's signing officially commences the 2021 NPHC process, according to Minister Tweah. He acknowledged that the exercise is behind schedule but clarified that it was belated for good reasons. He said the delay was aimed at ensuring that the census was got right especially in areas of financing, programming, and digitization to ensure it delivers optimum improvements over the previous census.

The Chairman of LISGIS Board of Directors, Hon. Tweah asserted, "the digital census once completed will best in the history of the country".

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Tweah has disclosed that the government has allocated under the Private Sector Investment Program of the FY2019/20 National Budget US$2 million as part of the government's contributions to the conduct of the census. He said the government disbursed US$ 1million during the last fiscal year for the exercise.

The Minister expressed profound appreciation to development partners including Sweden, the UNFPA, World Bank among others for their contributions to the census process. He, however, added that the government is still looking forward to receiving more support from partners to ensuring the successful holding of the census.

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