Nigeria Has 140 Million People – Census Boss      
 Agency Reports    
Friday, 29 December 2006 
Nigeria has 140 million people, representing a near doubling in population since Nigeria's last head count in 1991, according to census figures released today. 

Census takers didn't ask Nigerians potentially inflammatory questions about their religion or ethnicity, focusing instead on getting an accurate picture of the population size and geographical spread – demographics crucial to development and other political decisions.

In 1991, the population stood at 81 million people.

Results from a nationwide count this year showed Nigeria now has 140 million citizens, said Samu'ila Danko Makama, chairman of the National Population Commission.

Population growth is running at 3.2%, he said.

Four censuses have been aborted in Nigeria since independence from Britain in 1960 due to logistical difficulties and allegations that ethnic or religious groups had sought to inflate their numbers.

Such groupings hold political sway in a country where the federal government controls regional distribution of funds from the oil industry in Africa's biggest crude producer.