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‘Amateur officials at LISGIS’

-Rep. Nyonquoi

By Lewis S. Teh

Nimba County Electoral District #8 Representative Larry Nyonquoi has described officials at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) as amateurs, accusing them of putting Liberia under a false impression.

” These people who are putting the Liberian people under false impression are amateurs who do not mean well for this country,” said Rep. Nyonquoi Thursday, 10 November 2022.

Nyonquoi made the comments following a verbal tussle on local broadcaster OK FM between Acting LISGIS Director General Wilmot Smith and his Deputy Director General for Statistics and Data Processing Alex Williams over the conduct of the National Housing and Population Census.

Representative Nyanquoi also phoned in on the radio talk show saying the census isn’t something for officials at LISGIS to play with.

He wondered how LISGIS could conduct a census without giving tests to people who should be serving as supervisors and enumerators before going for canvassing and other things.

“This census isn’t about try and error. Even President Weah’s proclamation issued was wrong. You can’t issue any proclamation for more than ten days,” said Nyonquoi.

He claimed that the entire process is a joke, adding that he told the Legislature of the need to cancel the census and do it better.

“I’m disappointed and I will put the United Nations on record. The chief technical advisor of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was sent to look at these loopholes, but nothing has been done under his watch,” Nyonquoi alleged.

According to him, the last time census was conducted, everything was well structured and in place.

He said they did everything on time with enumerators including the signing of the contract and giving them a portion of their money.

In the case of the current government, Nyonquoi said none of these things has been done.

He warned that this isn’t a game one can play with the Liberian people.

The Nimba lawmaker said he has informed both the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro-Tempore that if anything goes wrong, people will be held responsible in this country.

During a conversation on local radio station OK FM Thursday, 10 November 2022 via mobile phone, LISGIS Acting Boss Wilmot Smith encouraged citizens to stay at home and be counted by LISGIS enumerators.

His comments on the local radio station sparked disagreement with his deputy.

According to Mr. Smith, all was set for the team at LISGIS to begin the conduct of the census as announced by President George Manneh Weah through a proclamation.

Mr. Smith said that even though there had been a series of challenges confronting LISGIS, those challenges were minor and were taken care of including the deployment of supervisors and enumerators across the country.

But reacting to Smith’s claims, Deputy Director for Statistics and Data Processing Alex Williams dismissed the assertion made by his boss.

Williams alleged that the entire process was marred by corruption and gross incompetence, something he claimed was undermining the conduct of the census.

“Let me say Wilmot Smith is playing with serious national issues that have to do with the planning and development of this country,” said Williams.

“How can Wilmot and others deceive the Liberian people that there will be [a] census on Friday when in fact the … enumerators and supervisor who will be counting people have not been selected?” Williams wondered.

“As we speak, go now to the LISGIS website, you won’t see names of selected individuals that should be serving as enumerators and supervisors,” he added.

William wondered how those enumerators and supervisors were going to do the counting.

He said there has been no contract signed with enumerators and supervisors.

Besides that, William claimed that Smith does not know statistics that’s why he was misleading the public.

He said when people are conducting a census, they have a period of three days for enumerators and supervisors to canvas the boundaries and localities that they are going to work in.

Following that, Williams said there will be a household listing which has to do with numbering each of the structures within the enumeration areas and determining the number before the census can begin.


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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