By - Usman Sanusi
The National Population Commission (NPC) has estimated that Nigeria’s population is “about 190 million” and not the 201 million previously estimated by the United Nations (UN).
The UN Population Fund had reported in the 2019 State of the World Population Report that Nigeria’s population had risen to 201 million, the largest in Africa, with growth rate placed at an average of 2.6% from 2010 to 2019.
However, while speaking at a press conference tagged ’25 Years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise’ on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, the NPC Director-General, Dr Ghaji Ismail, said the UNFPA’s estimation was based on assumptions.
“Based on data available to us, the present population is about 190 million. About three months ago, UNFPA brought out a figure of 201 million. The UN figure is a function of the assumptions they have made.
“You have to use models to arrive at the figures you are projecting. The margin of error is very small,” he said.
To arrive at a more accurate figure, Dr Ismail said the government has to conduct another census as the last one was 13 years ago.
He said, “It is more imperative that the government should undertake another census.
“It strengthens our case that we should have undertaken another census; the last one was in 2006 and we should have had another in 2016 in line with the 10-year global requirement.”
Dr Ismail said the commission has been preparing for a census for the “last three to four years” and expressed optimism that it’ll happen soon.
According to The World Population Prospects 2017 report, Nigeria will jump from seventh and become the third most populated country in the world by 2050 with 300 million citizens.
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