The National Population Commission (NPC) has said that the current country’s population figure is officially 206 million.
Chairman of the Commission, Nasir Kwarra, briefing reporters today, December 8 in Abuja on the commencement of the next Enumeration Area Demarcation, said that since Nigeria had not been able to hold a census in the last 14 years, it would be difficult to know the exact population of the country.
“In the absence of actual census, we formally do projections and we have all along been doing our projections and we estimate that as of 2020, the estimated population of Nigeria 206 million.”
He said that the date for the holding of next census in the country can only be announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, who has the sole right to do so, saying however, that Buhari would do the needful soon.
According to him, the commission is working on getting Buhari to make the proclamation.
Buhari had last two months approved N10 billion for the NPC to enable the commission to continue its Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in 540 local government areas across the country.
The president also approved an additional N4. 5 billion to be included in the 2021 budget for the completion of preparation for the next census.
While announcing the commencement of the Enumeration Area Demarcation exercise, Kwarra said that about 260 local government areas out of the 774 in the country had been fully demarcated.
He said that the 11th phase of the exercise would begin on December 9, 2020, and end on January 20, 2011, adding: “planning for the 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.”
NPC boss said that the EAD exercise is not the enumeration of persons living in the country but a preparatory exercise before the census.
He said the NPC would be assisting the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to create digitised maps of INEC registration areas for the first time as part of the EAD.
He said this collaboration would positively affect future elections.
“It is important to state that the latest technology is being deployed for this EAD exercise, including the use of very high-resolution satellite imageries as the base map, the use of GPS for georeferencing and the use of GIS for data management.
“Also, personal data assistants (handheld devices/tablets) that include computer software for population estimation are being used for data capture.”
He said that data can also be used to tackle the security situation in the country.