Contrary to speculations by most international organisations that Nigeria’s population is 200 million, the National Population Commission (NPC) has said the country’s population is 198 million.
NPC Director General, Dr. Ghaji Ismaila Bello, who spoke at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, to mark the 2019 World Population Day entitled: ‘25 years of ICPD: Accelerating the Promise, ‘ maintained that the country needs another census to ascertain the country’s actual population.
He said: “As at today, we are about 198 million. Three months ago, UNFPA brought out a figure of 201 million and we were asked to comment on that. For us, the difference between the UNFDP figure and ours is a function of assumptions. In the absence of accurate census, you have to use model and projection in order to arrive at a figure that you are projecting. There is no major fundamental difference per se between 201 and 198 million. Granted that 3 million can be the size of most countries, but when you are talking of very huge figure the margin of zero is small.
“It is imperative that Nigeria should undertake another census in the light of the recommendation of the UN for census to be taken every ten years and bearing in mind that the last census was undertaken in 2006 and we ought to have taken another census in 2016.
But, NPC’s acting National Chairman, Yusuf Anka, noted that the country still lags behind in meeting the ‘Cairo Plan’s, which gives women greater control over their lives, promote economic equality and opportunity, and stressed that the plan should be implemented.