The population of Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, has hit an estimated 190 million, the National Population Commission has said.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the Director-General of the commission, Dr Ghaji Ismail, said that the figure was arrived at “based on data available” to the commission.
The UNFPA had said in a report in April that Nigeria’s population had reached 201 million.
“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,” Dr Ismail said.
“You have to use models to arrive at the figures you are projecting. The margin of error is very small. 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 noted that it was imperative to conduct another census as soon as possible.
He explained that the urgency of a national census had positive implications for national security.
“For the last three to four years, we have been preparing and there is a process which gives us a lot of hope that this will soon be addressed,” said Dr Ismail.