From ISAAC ANUMIHE, Abuja
National Population Commission (NPC) yesterday startled Nigerians, as it declared that Nigerian population has now risen to 170 million.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on the commencement of fieldwork for the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) in Nigeria, the NPC Chairman, Eze Festus Odimegwu, stated that Nigeria’s population grows at 3.2 per cent per annum, stressing that by the end of this year, the country’s population would have moved from the 160 million in 2006 to 170 million in 2013. Odimegwu, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, NPC Technical Management Team and Vital Registration, Dr Festus Uzor, also noted that the effective management of Nigeria’s population for sustainable development required collection, processing and dissemination of demographic data, not only through periodic census exercise but also regular surveys and registration of births, deaths and migration.
According to him, it was in this light that the NPC, in conjunction with other development partners like the UNFPA and Department For International Development (DFID) decided to pool resources to the tune of N800 million to finance the NDHS project, which he described as a nationally representative survey, designed to provide information on the demographic and health status of the population.
The NDHS, he said, would provide detailed information on the levels and trends of fertility, family planning, maternal and child health in the country.
For him, this year, NDHS survey which is conducted every five years, would be carried out in 40,680 households that have been scientifically randomly selected in all states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory. He noted that only men and women of between 15 and 49 years would be interviewed in the selected households.
The NPC chairman stated that the fieldwork for NDHS 2013 would take place for four months in the South West (Lagos), South East (Imo), South South (Akwa Ibom), North Central (Nasarawa), North East (Gombe) and North West (Jigawa). The chairrman, also noted that the quality of the survey was a direct function of the expertise and skills of the interviewers adding that the field functionaries have been carefully selected to ensure that only the competent and qualified staff were engaged.