Nigeria's Population to Hit 166 Million By Oct

The population of Nigerians is expected to rise to 166 million by October this year, the National Population Commission (NPC) has said.

The world population will reach 7 billion by the same period, according to the United Nations Population Division.

Chairman of the Commission, Chief Samu’ila Danko Makama, made the revelation at a press conference on the 2011 World Population Day celebration yesterday.

He said this year’s theme has been modified to “World Population at 7 Billion: Implications for Economic Development-Focus on Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020”.

Chief Makama said that Nigeria has an annual growth rate of 3.6% and called on government to create the enabling environment for youths to be employed and opportunities to reach their full potential.

The Chairman said the World Population Day is celebrated on the 11th of July of every year. It seeks to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues, was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989.

He said currently, about 78 million people are added to the global population each year, and of this figure 5 million people are added to the national population each year in Nigeria.

The NPC Chairman said women account for half of the world population and 1.8 billion of the world population comprises young people between 10 to 24 years old including 44.4 million in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has noted that development at all levels, as against growth in population increase, will be more beneficial to the society.

UNFPA Country Representative, Dr Agathe Lawson, said this in Abuja yesterday at the 2011 World Population Day celebration.

Lawson, who spoke on the global theme “Approaching a world of seven billion,” urged Nigeria to develop all sectors of the society as against population growth as this was the only way Nigerians would live better lives.