The National Population Commission (NPC) says Nigeria’s estimated 198 million population figure recently announced by the commission is based on an annual population growth of 3.2 percent, spanning from 2006 to date.

The NPC Chairman, Eze Duruiheoma, made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

The NPC had on April 11, put Nigeria’s current population at 198 million people, with urban population growing at an average annual of about 6.5 percent.

Mr Duruiheoma announced the figure in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on Sustainable Cities, Human Mobility and International Migration at the 51st Session of Commission on Population and Development.

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The NPC boss told NAN that the current estimated figure of 198 million was not just concocted but from annual growth of 3.2 percent, judging from the last census of 2006.

He added that “there are deaths and births and nobody imagined that there will be more deaths than births.

“Irrespective of what anyone thinks about deaths, there is always more births than deaths and that is why the 3.2 annual growth rate is used in arriving at the current population figure.

“The most important thing now is to conduct another census to ascertain the country’s actual population.

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“We want to do away with the projected figure because there is more to census than funds and we are waiting for a presidential proclamation that will empower NPC to conduct the head count.’’

Mr Duruiheoma said having accurate data about a country’s population was essential in planning as it would be used for social, economic, political and other needs.