Liberia President George Manneh George has underscored the importance of the national census, stressing that it directly impacts socioeconomic service delivery for citizens at the grassroots level.
Launching the National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) 2021 at the Ministerial Complex on Sept. 25, the Liberian leader noted that statistics are important for planning and implementing development programs, the Liberia Daily Observer reported.
He added: “If you cannot measure accurately then you will not be able to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services. To address poverty effectively we must use targeted interventions that can be measured, and consult the people about their own development,” the president said. “It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the entire population to come forward and be counted, so that the results of Census 2021 can be used as a tool to improve service delivery.”
After the census, the president in a press release said “we will have accurate data for the formulation of policy as well as implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The results from the census will provide us with a unique opportunity to realign our development strategies, policies and programs.”
In Liberia, the conduct of a census is guided by a constitutional provision that mandates the executive branch of government to undertake the exercise.
The chief executive asserted that since it is not every government that could conduct a census, the NPHC will be a part of his legacy to the people and country.
“In addition to fulfilling this crucial constitutional requirement, the crux of our commitment on this issue is to ensure that development is equitable and in the public interest,” he said and urged citizens to fully cooperate with the exercise as it is for the general good of all.
The president noted that to support a nation’s development efforts, timely, relevant, sufficient and reliable data sets are required, and the major foundation of this is the census.
“A census is usually the largest peacetime undertaking of a government,” he declared. “Because it is very involving and costly, a census is normally conducted only once every 10 years, but its products and tools could be used for over a decade.”
He acknowledged that undertaking such a huge national exercise needs a considerable amount of technical, financial and logistical resources.
“At this time of our development, with a pandemic looming large, government cannot provide all the necessary inputs. But we have tried to make the census program happen by doing whatever we can to facilitate the implementation process,” Weah said.