By Tobias LengnanDapam
The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), EzeDuruiheoma, has said that Nigeria’s population consists of approximately 198million people.
Duruiheoma disclosed this while delivering Nigeria’s statement on sustainablecities, human mobility and international migration at the ongoing 51stsession of Commission on Population and Development in New York.
According to him, urban population within the country has been growingat an average yearly rate of about 6.5 per cent for over 50 years.
“Nigeria remains the most populous in Africa, the seventh globallywith an estimated population of over 198 million.
“The recent World Population Prospects predicts that by 2050, Nigeriawill become the third most populated country in the world.
“Over the last 50 years, Nigeria’s urban population has grown at anaverage annual growth rate of more than 6.5 per cent without acommensurate increase in social amenities and infrastructure.
“The Displacement Tracking Matrix round XXI of January 2018 identifiedestimated 1.7 million IDPs in over 321,580 households across sixstates of North-East Nigeria with 40 per cent residing in camp-likesettings in urban areas plus 1.4 million returnees.
“The number of IDPs represented 4.5 per cent increase compared to the1,702,680 identified in Round XX (Dec. 2017.
“In addition, the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects report, predictsthat by 2050, most of the population – 70 per cent – will be residingin cities.
“The 2010 human mobility survey report revealed that 23 per cent ofthe sampled population were of more females than males,” the chairmansaid.
He further revealed that the population grew substantially from 17.3 per cent in1967 to 49.4 per cent in 2017.
He also said young people of teen age and adolescent girls and boys,women of childbearing age and the people of working age were mostlyinvolved in urbanization and migration among the population.
While quoting the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics report, the NPC boss said unemployment was at an average of 18.4 per cent and as such, thenation’s cities hosted widespread poverty, under-employment andunemployment.
“Nigeria continues to commit to solving the challenges of insurgentsin the Northeast, which has induced a high number of internallydisplaced persons.
“We are committed to providing adequate healthcare services, reducingmaternal mortality, rebuilding safe schools and empowering our women,ensuring no one is left behind in terms of achieving sustainabledevelopment”.