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FG moves to digitise birth registration, targets 12.72m children in 2023

The Federal Government through the National Population Commission (NPC), on Friday, projected the registration of 12.72m Under-Five children in 2023 as it moves to digitise…

The Federal Government through the National Population Commission (NPC), on Friday, projected the registration of 12.72m Under-Five children in 2023 as it moves to digitise the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) process.

The NPC Director of Vital Registration Department, Mr. Mathew Sunday, disclosed this in Lagos during the opening a two-day workshop on the operational plans for digital birth registration in the state organised by NPC Lagos office in collaboration with United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

He said the commission plans to register 8.08m children in 22 priority states and 4.62m in other states with the application of the digitisation.

He said this would significantly increase the percentage of children with birth certificates which currently stands at 33%.

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According to him, the situation is worse in the rural area with 32 % of the total number of children with birth certificates while the urban areas have 63 %.

He disclosed that the NPC moved from 47 percent registration of under five children in 2018 to 57 in 2021 which he described as having a huge impact in the CRVS data but said only 33% actually have birth certificates.

“For us to have a complete registration of children, there must be certification and until one is issued a certificate, that is when we can say one has been registered,” he said.

He said birth registration data is critical to planning by any government and said there would be an aggressive campaign to mobilise the citizenry on the import of birth registration.

“We will go on an aggressive social mobilisation in collaboration with stakeholders, especially the National Orientation Agency (NOA). A greater percentage of our population don’t know there is what we call birth registration,” Sunday said.

A child protection specialist with UNICEF, Sharon Oladiji, said part of UNICEF’s mandate is to support the government towards realising the rights of children.

She said the fund would go to 22 states which she did not disclose to deepen the birth registration drive for Under-5 children.

On his part, the state Director of NPC, Mr. Bamidele Sadiku, explained that the NPC has concluded plans to move away from analogue registration of birth, saying, “Birth registration is so unique and important. It is the first right to give to any child. Right of identity, right of living and so many other rights would be built on that and we want to reduce the stress from the process, that is the essence of digitisation. We want to reduce the time it takes to register a child.”

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