By James Emejo
The National Population Commission (NPC), yesterday put Nigeria’s population at 206 million.
The projection came two years after the NPC had estimated the country’s population at 198 million.
The Chairman of the NPC, Mr. Nasir Kwarra, told reporters in Abuja 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.
He added that the next enumeration area demarcation in Abuja will begin on Tuesday.
He said: “In the absence of an 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 is 206 million.”
According to him, only President Muhammadu Buhari is empowered to announce the next census.
Kwarra, however, said he was certain that Buhari would do so soon.
While announcing the commencement of the enumeration area demarcation, Kwarra 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 and end on January 20, 2021.
He said: “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.”
Kwarra explained that the EAD 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, adding that the 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.