Eze Duruiheoma, Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC) says Nigerian population is currently estimated at 198 million.
Nigeria currently ranks as the 7th most populous nation in the world. Whereas, in 2016, World Bank said Nigeria had an estimated 186 million people living in it.
“Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million,” Duruiheoma said in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration at the 51st session of the commission on population and development.
According to him, urban population was growing at an average annual rate of about 6.5 per cent, adding that teenagers, women of child-bearing age and the working age population, were more engaged in urbanisation.
He added, “The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeria will become the third most populated country in the world. Over the last 50 years, Nigeria’s urban population has grown at an average annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.
“It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 per cent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects Report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 per cent – will be residing in cities.
“The 2010 Human Mobility Survey Report revealed that 23 per cent of the sampled population was of more females than males.”
The NPC Chairman said an estimated 1.76 million internally displaced persons were from six states in the North-East.
According to him, existing urbanisation trend coupled with IDPs in cities, pose critical challenges to securing sustainability of our cities.
He said like in other developing countries, Nigerian cities host widespread poverty, under-employment and unemployment at an average of 18.4 per cent, citing the National Bureau of Statistics 2017 report.
In an interview last year, the Director General of the NPC, Ghaji Bello, had said the commission might conduct census in 2018.
He had said the proposed census would cost an estimated N272bn.
“Ordinarily, it ought to have a cycle of its own and that cycle should be five years or 10 years. We should have conducted the last census in 2016 but for a variety of reasons outside the control of the population commission, we were unable to do it,” he had said.
The last census was conducted in 2006.