National Population Commission, NPC, in collaboration with UNICEF and World Bank, has assured Nigerians that 25 million under 5-year-old children will be targeted for registration at birth across the country.

This was informed at the commemoration of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, CRVS, 2021, hosted by National Population Commission, NPC,  themed, “Building Resilient Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Systems in Africa that provides Innovative, Integrated and Decentralised Services for the Post-Covid-19”, during a press briefing held in Abuja.

Speaking at the event, Chairman of the NPC, Dr. Nasir Isa Kwarra stated that The CRVS day celebration provides an opportunity for a reflection on legal identity from birth to death of all persons and the realization of the key human and civil rights, including the right to participate in society and economy and the right to access social services.

“The process of strengthening and accelerating the birth registration service delivery at state and community levels; and operationalizing to scale to pilot digital systems to register all children starting from birth in all facilities is the focus for the next four years with a vision to register about 25 million children between 2024/25 respectively.

“These can only be attainable when the rights and civil liberties are founded and strengthened by an efficient and effective civil registration and vital statistics systems that are inclusive, permanent, continuous compulsory and confidential nature,” he said.

 According to the Kwarra, the commission has established 4011 registration centers spread across the 774 LGAs of the country and is in collaboration with the most health centers and local government whose personnel assist our registrars in collecting information on deaths and births in their facilities.

“Currently, 43% of under-5 children are registered at birth and not more than 10% of deaths are registered in Nigeria; meaning that many are born and die without leaving a trace of their existence in any legal record in the country,” added Kwarra.

The chairman, therefore, called on all partners of the commission, as well as other stakeholders, to constantly collaborate with the NPC to enable it to achieve its goals across the country.

Also speaking, chairman, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF,  Ibrahim Sesay, who noted that the continuous exercise would be multisectoral and multidisciplinary in nature, said it can be strengthened only through a holistic and integrated approach and strong political commitment, as a continuous and complete record of births, deaths and marital status of citizens, civil registration and vital statistics.

He said almost all the SDG goals could be calculated using data from a functional civil registration and vital statistics system gained from a civil registration system and can provide up-to-date and accurate population data is disaggregated by sex, age, and geographic location.

Sesay notified that UNICEF is supporting the development of a roadmap for digital birth registration to guide CRVS partners who are seeking opportunities to achieve greater impact, efficiency, and efficacy in a digital universal birth registration system in Nigeria.

In his welcome address, Committee Chairman, CRVS, Dr. Lawal Suleiman, said that the day has since 2018, is celebrated amongst all African Union member states to create awareness on current and emerging population issues which impact on governance and quality of the population, as well as inspire member states to accelerate the implementation of the civil registration and vital statistics in the continent in line with global best practices.

 


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