Some days ago, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) shocked many Nigerians when it stated that the country’s population currently stands at 201 million. This, it added, represents an increase of 5.1 million from the 195.9 million it claimed the country had in October last year. In its 2019 State of the World Population report published on its website, the UNFPA added that the country’s annual growth rate has been at an average of 2.6 per cent from 2010 to 2019.
Curiously, apart from citing some fertility rate among the Nigerian women, which it claimed had dropped from 6.4 in 1969 to 5.3 in 2019, and interpreted to mean that an average Nigerian woman gives birth to at least five children, there was no empirical fact-check to show the figure quoted is verifiable, authentic or reflects the true Nigerian population. It all seemed like some conspiracy designed for a premeditated end.
Unfortunately, this can only pass as UN’s population of Nigeria and not what Nigeria has verified as hers. To continually impose population figures on sovereign nations, thereby undermining their growth plans and projections is totally anti-development and speaks ill of an organisation as important as the UN, especially when Nigeria has not held a census in many years. This number is fraudulent and not acceptable. There is more to it, coming from the UN, in fact.