The National Population Commission (NPC) yesterday announced that the country had an estimated 206 million people. Chairman of the NPC, Nasir Isa Kwarra, who disclosed this in Abuja while announcing the commencement of the 11th phase of Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD), added that the next population and housing census would hold by middle of 2022.
The commission had, about two years ago, put the estimated population of the country at 198 million. Kwarra, who said the new figure was based on projection, stated that it would be challenging to know the exact population of the country since it has not been able to hold a census in the last 14 years.
“In the absence of an actual census, we formally make projections, and we have all along been making our projections, and we estimate that as of 2020, the estimated population of Nigeria is 206 million,” he said.
Kwarra, who said that all the necessary preparation towards conducting a transparent population and housing census had commenced, added that the NPC was just waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari, whom, he said, has the sole right to make the proclamation.
The NPC boss, while announcing the commencement of the enumeration exercise, said about 260 local government areas out of the 774 in the country had been fully demarcated. He stated that the 11th phase of the exercise would begin on December 9, 2020, and end on January 20, 2021.
He assured Nigerians and the international community that the commission was determined to deliver to the country a population and housing census that would stand the test of time.
According to him, NPC will continue to explore all the means to avoid the pitfalls of the past. “Planning for census is anchored on the EAD as the basis for estimating both the human and material resources required for the census.
“In essence, the success of a credible and accurate census depends very much on the quality and reliability of the EAD. It is, however, necessary to state unambiguously that the EAD exercise is not the enumeration of persons living in the country.
“Its outcome is in no way the determinant of the population of any locality, local government area or state. The EAD is simply a preparatory activity before the actual census enumeration and it should not be equated with the census.”
“In addition to being the foundation for the census, the national sample frame for the country is created from the EAD. The sample frame derived from the EAD is the one that is used by all data collecting organizations, including MDAs and research institutions.”