The National Population Commission (NPC) has revealed that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is now the fourth most populous city in the country, coming after Lagos, Kano and Ibadan.
Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the commissioner representing the FCT in the commission, Dr. Daniel Aliyu Kwali, noted that the territory also has the highest growth rate of about 7.1 per cent.
Kwali however lamented that getting the correct population estimates of the FCT has been difficult because of its peculiar growth patterns, as well as the huge dichotomy between the people who work in Abuja, but leave the city every day.
He called on Nigerians in general and FCT residents in particular, to take the issues of birth control and birth spacing very seriously.
Responding, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, frowned that the absence of reliable population estimate for the territory, makes it difficult to convince legislators on adequate budgetary provisions for the FCT.
Bello stated that raising a child without making plans for them easily predispose the child to crime and deviant behaviours, just as he called on NPC to take the message of responsible family sizes to the grassroots, especially through the pastors and imams.
Represented by the FCT permanent secretary, Sir Chiyeaka Ohaa, the minister noted that the FCT as an emerging city is witnessing the type of population increase that is very unusual for cities of its kind.
While calling for a concerted efforts to tackle the challenge in order to come to terms with the need to for effective planning, he also pledged the cooperation of the administration with the NPC to enable it performs it mandate in the FCT.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to the FCT minister, Cosmas Uzodinma, which was made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday revealed that the visit was part of the effort of the commission to drum support for the forthcoming Word Population Day, scheduled for 11th July 2018.