By Akanimo Sampson
If all goes well, Nigeria will be conducting her national population census every 10 years.
The Red Chamber of the National Assembly is introducing an amendment bill to alter Section 213 of the 1999 Constitution as amended to give legal backing to 10-year compulsory conduct of a national census.
In 2012, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics puts the total population of citizens in Nigeria at around 166.2 million people. In 2016, it was estimated to have over 178.5 million people although United Nations projections placed the population as high as 186 million.
At independence in 1960, Nigeria recorded an estimated 45.2 million people. That constitutes a change of about 268% between 1960 and 2012.
The entire population of Nigeria accounts for about 2.35% of the entire earth’s population. This means that about one out of every 43 people in the world calls Nigeria their home.
These estimates by the National Bureau of Statistics take into account the residual effects of the very high mortality rate due to the rampant AIDS epidemic in the country.
The AIDS epidemic, while a lot more controlled in the United States, is still a very big killer on the entire continent of Africa.
Many people and multiple leaders have taken steps to help African nations such as Nigeria fight the AIDS epidemic. Fortunately, the numbers have improved significantly over the last 15 to 20 years.
There are currently 3.1 million residents in this country that are living with HIV/AIDS.
However, the bill is sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo Agege, who doubles as chairman of the Constitution Review Committee.
It is tagged, A Bill to Alter the Provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 to Specify the Time Frame for the Conduct of Population Census.
The move by the Senate is in line with the United Nations’ recommendations that a national census is conducted at least, once in 10 years.
Nigeria’s last national census was conducted in 2006 when former President Olusegun Obasanjo held sway.
The current population of Nigeria is 204,576,048 as of Sunday, March 15, 2020, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data.
Worldometer is run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. It is owned by Dadax, an independent company.
It was voted as one of the best free reference websites by the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world.
While Nigeria 2020 population is estimated at 206,139,589 people at mid-year according to UN data, the population is equivalent to 2.64% of the total world population.
Nigeria ranks number seven in the list of countries (and dependencies) by population, and the population density in Nigeria is 226 per Km2 (586 people per mi2).
Just as the total land area is 910,770 Km2 (351,650 sq. miles), 52.0 % of the population is urban (107,112,526 people in 2020)
In the meantime, since 2006, Nigeria has had Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari as presidents.
The National Population Commission, in 2015, waited for a national proclamation from President Buhari to enable them to kick off the census, but he did not issue any.
According to the proposed Senate amendment, the new legislation will provide for the time frame for the conduct of population census every 10 years after publication by the President of a population census report by the National Population Commission.