Legislature Decides fate of National Census Despite President Weah’s Proclamation
President George Weah, has by Proclamation declared Friday, November 11, 2022, as “National Census Day” and is to be observed throughout the Republic as a NATIONAL HOLIDAY.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the 2022 National Population and Housing Census, which commences on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, to be declared as Census Night will enable the enumerators to begin the household listing.
But the president’s deceleration was greeted with disbelief by several members of the House of Representatives.
Key among them is Nimba County District #8 Representative Larry P. Younquoi. The ANC Nimba lawmaker launched an eleventh-hour bid to push for the postponement of Liberia’s already-delayed National Population and Housing Census (NPHC).
“Distinguish colleagues, I am appealing to this august body to kindly mandate the speaker to liaise with the leadership of the senate to have the Legislature savage the ongoing process by putting a halt to it and increasing the oversight of the Legislature over the whole exercise while directing LISGIS and partners to recalibrate the process in order to lend it to producing the desired result,” Rep. Younquoi said in a communication to plenary of the House.
The census was originally scheduled from October 24, 2022 to November 7, 2022, but has been rescheduled for November 7- 27, 2022.
“The entire process is still characterized by chaotic conditions ranging from poor recruitment, poor and uncoordinated training, the inadequate logistical endowment of LISGIS’s county offices, chaotic payment process of census workers, among other shortcomings.”
The House’s chief census expert said while the outstanding issues are yet to be fully addressed, the President may have been ill-advised to issue the proclamation. He termed the government’s determination to conduct the census despite these challenges as disturbing, considering the sensitivity of the census data.
His communication was greeted with mixed reactions on the floor. Margibi County District #2 Rep. Ivar Jones called for the motion to be quashed as the Legislature has already passed a joint resolution approving the conduct of the census which was signed by the President.
The much-delayed census has been marred by controversy. It is still haunted by a chaotic recruitment exercise that sparked several protests across the country. In recent days, dozens of enumerators have taken the streets of several cities either begging for food or calling on LISGIS to give their allowances.
However, Rep. Gray, in his amendment, pleaded for the leadership of both the House of Representatives and the Liberian Senate to convene an emergency meeting today to review Rep. Younquoi’s request.