President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has submitted to the Senate for consideration a Bill titled, “An Act Authorizing the Executive Branch of Government to Conduct the 2018 National Census.”
The communication is in line with Article 39 of the 1986 Constitution which empowers the Legislature to cause the census to be undertaken every 10 years.
President Sirleaf in her communication dated January 16, recalled that since 1962, four successive population censuses have been conducted; with the population of the country put at 1.1 million in 1972, 1.5 million in 1974, 2.1 million in 1984, and 3.5 million in 2008.
Following international period of inter-censual interval (10 years), President Sirleaf reminded the lawmakers that the next census of population and housing is expected to be held in 2018.
“It will provide timely, relevant, reliable and sufficient data for informed decision-making on all aspects of national development programming-planning implementation, monitoring and evaluation of national socio-economic, political and physical/aerial programming,” the President said.
President Sirleaf further assured that the 2018 census will benchmark the start of Liberia’s implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “while deepening post-conflict peace conciliation and post-Ebola recovery and resilience building across all sectors.”
The execution of the project, President Sirleaf emphasized, shall benefit from the close collaboration of some key international development partners of the country, including United Nations agencies, “and thus should lead to a synchronized participation in the development, follow-up and evaluation of the national development agenda for the country.”
The census will be implemented by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) with technical support from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
“In view of the foregoing, I trust that the Legislature will pass into law the Census Bill of 2017 that will empower LISGIS to conduct the 2018 National Population and Housing Census,” said the President.
The Bill, which was sponsored by Senator Geraldine Doe-Sherif and Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence of Grand Bassa County, was sent to the relevant committees.