Nigeria Records Increase Birth Registration,As UNICEF, NPC Launch Evaluation Report
The United Nations Children’s Fund,UNICEF and National Population Commission (NPopC) have launched birth registration evaluation report for children under one year of age.
The report launched today in Abuja shows an increase of more than 100 per cent children registered — from 3 million in 2012 to 11 million in 2016.
In a message to the launch, UNICEF Country Representative, Mr Mohamed Fall observed that the report showed significant improvements in strengthening the birth registration system in Nigeria.
He stressed the need for NPopC as a primary service provider, to take greater ownership and a proactive approach on registration of newborn children and all other children who are still unregistered.
“Low rates of birth registration is a challenge in Nigeria,” said Mohamed Fall, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.
“In 2011, the birth registration rate was 41 percent, which means that three in every five children were not registered. This lack of birth registration negatively affects a child’s ability to access his or her right to health care, education and many other rights.”
Mr Fall urged the population commission to prioritise digitisation, advocacy and lobbying for more funds to effectively implement the Strategic CRVS Plan between 2018 and 2022.
On her part,the Deputy Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Ms Pernille Ironside, observed that birth registration was a critical part of UNICEF’s four pillars of child rights programming,such as survival, development, protection and participation.
“Birth registration is the official recording of a child’s birth by the government – establishes the existence of a child under law and provides the foundation for safeguarding many of a child’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”
” Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that every child has the right to be registered at birth, without any discrimination.”
Ms Ironside said UNICEF had been working with the Federal Government to address systemic challenges that impede birth registration, with a view to achieving sustainable results for children.
The Acting Chair, House Committee on National Population and National Identity ,Victor Kolade said there was the need for population commission to be strengthened in terms of capacity building and funding.
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