After years of assumption on the population of Nigeria, the National Population Commission (NPC) has estimated the figure to 198 million.
The NPC Chairman, Eze Duruoheoma, made the disclosure while delivering Nigeria’s statement on sustainable cities, human mobility and international migration at the 51st session of commission on population and development in New York, United States of America.
Duruiheoma, according to NAN, said Nigeria currently rank as the 7th most populous nation in the world.
As of 2016, the World Bank said Nigeria had an estimated 186 million people living in it.
Duruiheoma said urban population was growing at an average annual rate of about 6.5 percent, adding that teenagers, women of child-bearing age and the working age population, were more engaged in urbanisation.
“Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globally with an estimated population of over 198 million,” Duruiheoma said.
“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 percent without commensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.
“It grew substantially from 17.3 in 1967 to 49.4 percent in 2017. In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predicts that by 2050, most of the population – 70 percent – will be residing in cities.
“The 2010 human mobility Survey report revealed that 23 percent of the sampled population were of more females than males.”
Duruiheoma said an estimated 1.76m internally displaced persons (IDPs) are from states in the six 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 percent, citing the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2017 report.
In an interview last year, Ghaji Bello, director-general of NPC said, the commission might conduct census in 2018.
He had said the proposed census would cost an estimated N272 billion.