The Director General of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), Dr. Edward Liberty, has put the cost for the conduct of the 2018 national census at US$20 million.
Dr. Liberty disclosed that based on discussions held with development partners, the Government of Liberia will be required to provide about 50 percent of the funding needed for the census.
He said LISGIS is currently in consultations with authorities of the Postal Affairs Ministry to develop an address system to be assigned to communities and homes which, he said will be made possible by the use of satellite technology.
Dr. Liberty made the disclosure on Friday when he addressed the Joint Committee on Good Governance and Judiciary of the House of Representatives at a first public hearing on the proposed Act to conduct a national census in 2018.
The hearing, which was held in the Joint Chamber of the Capitol Building, brought together several officials from LISGIS, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, National Elections Commissions, and heads of the Geography and Demography departments of the University of Liberia.
Article 39 of the Constitution of Liberia mandates the National Legislature of Liberia to cause a census of the republic to be undertaken every ten years.
Since it attained independence, Liberia has conducted four successive census exercises the first was conducted in 1962; the second in 1974, and the third and fourth in 1984 and 2008 respectively.
When conducted, Dr. Liberty said the population data from the 2018 census exercise will play a major role in the formulation of the constituency boundaries for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
Dr. Liberty also noted that the data will be used for socio-economic development planning, monitoring of government development programs and international interventions.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the joint legislative committee, Representative Worlea-Saywah Dunah, has underscored the need for the enhancement of collaboration between LISGIS and the Ministry of Finance as the nation prepares for the census exercise in 2018.
He assured that his committee will make the relevant recommendations to the Plenary of the House of Representative to ensure timely passage of the Act which will subsequently put government in the position to prepare early for the exercise.