The Lagos State government is to create twenty – six birth registration centers across the state to complement the existing ones,Alimosho is to get six centers due to its large population.
This is to ensure that parents do not have to travel distances to register their children and will bring to one hundred and twenty – eight the total number of birth registration centers in Lagos state.
“It is also to make sure that children born in the state is counted and planned for.”
The Deputy Director, Head Vital Registration Department, National Population Commission, NPopC, Lagos State, Mr Nwannkwu Ikechukwu made this known at a two – day workshop on the need to scale up birth registration for journalists in Lagos State taking place in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Mr Ikechukwu who attributed low registration figures to ignorance, social and cultural beliefs as well as demand for money by registrars before issuing birth certificates as some of the reasons noted that inadequate birth registration have negative impact on social amenities because it makes planning difficult.
He noted despite the achievements recorded, Lagos is still confronted with a lot of challenges including touting of birth and death certificates, lack of suitable offices for comptrollers and registrars as well as unhealthy rivalry between the state council staff and NPopC registrar.
Mr Ikechukwu urged the state government to employ more ad hoc registrars to enable the commission cover more areas especially in the hard – to – reach communities.
” At intervals, birth registration mop up is an active form of registration whereby ad hoc registrars are mobilized to go from house to house to register that are probably not registered during normal registration”.
The Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF, Sharon Oladiji, quoting Rapid SMS Nigeria Portal, says, 1,436,896 children representing 31 percent of children under five years in Lagos state are not registered at birth.
She noted that the after effect of a weak north registration systems were incapable of generating relevant public health and population planning data.
” This will affect the exercise of basic human rights.” In 2017, the worst performing LGAs in Lagos State are Mushin with 16 percent, Apapa with 26 percent, Ajeromi /Ifelodun with 34 percent, Lagos Mainland with 36 percent and Mushin 41 percent”.
“To achieve free and universal birth registration, formulating and enacting laws, policies and improving service delivery as well as forming community based approaches will help to achieve the desired results.”
The communication Officer, UNICEF, Blessing Ejiofor who urged participants to create awareness about the importance of registering children at birth urged journalists to point out the dangers therein, admonished journalists to always put issues of birth registration on the front burner in a creative manner in order to achieve the desired attention.