National Population Commission (NPC) has pegged Nigeria’s current population at 182 million.
According to the Director-General, Ghaji Bello, half of the population is less than 30 years of age.
Bello made this revelation on Thursday in Abuja. He said the latest estimate was based on annual 3.5% growth rate of the 140 million population recorded in the last census. This is, however, weighed against other variables such as rising life expectancy and a declining infant mortality rate.
He added that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, was witnessing a growing youth bulge. This is because more than 40% of the citizens are under 14 years.
Population, Strain On Facilities
According to Bello, this figure puts a severe strain on a nation to provide enough schools and health facilities. This is against the backdrop of its slowing economy and declining revenue.
He lamented that this was happening at a time IMF, had predicted that the nation’s gross domestic product will shrink 1.7% this year, the first full-year contraction in more than two decades.
“The implication is that they are assets, they are the future of our country, but they are also liabilities. We need to know how to plan for their transition from youths to the next category.”
“It has implications for education, health and security, particularly in our environment where you have a lot of unemployment.”
“We’re hopeful the government will soon make a statement for the next exercise.”