The Statistician-general of the Federation, Dr.Yemi Kale, has said that estimates from some quarters suggesting that Nigeria’s current population is between 170 or 180 million is incorrect and a mere speculation.
Speaking exclusively to The Guardian in Abuja during the launch of Enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS), Kale said that all such estimates were speculations, adding that the nation’s population may be less.
He explained that only a valid census can ascertain what the actual population figure of the country is, saying also that tendency is that the total population may be less.
According to him, capturing of the population figures based on three per cent growth rate since 2006 is faulty because the nation is not static but dynamic. He stressed further that rather than marrying early, many women now opt for western education.
He further said that census figures may have been inflated in some quarters in the past, giving the impression that more population of humans reside in certain areas.
“I believe that those who say that Nigeria has a population of 170 million are wrong. This is because you cannot continue to use the three percent growth rate used since 2006 to calculate the current population. So you cannot say accurately that Nigeria’s population is 170 million or more. Certain cultures, like early marriage, which used to be the norm, are now changing. Women are now embracing western education more than they did years ago. That is also a factor to consider. What use to happen is that some people gave wrong census of their population, in order to create the impression that they are more in number? So these contributed to the higher number bandied around often. So, with this, you can see that the nation’s population cannot have reached 170 million in the real sense.
‘’Only a valid census can capture the real population, thereby putting an end to all sorts of speculation of the population size of the country”, he said.
Speaking on the newly launched National Summary Data Page (NSDP), Dr. Kale said that the bureau through collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ministry of Finance, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is to host general data information bank on all aspects of the economy.