FG Moves To Digitise Birth Registration in 2023

The Federal Government through the National Population Commission (NPC) predicted the registration of 12.72 million under-five children in 2023 on Friday, as it seeks to digitize the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) process,


Mr. Mathew Sunday, the director of the NPC's vital registration department, made this announcement in Lagos at the beginning of a two-day workshop on the state's operational plans for digital birth registration that the NPC Lagos office organized in partnership with UNICEF.


According to him, the commission intends to use digitisation to register 8.08 million children in 22 priority states and 4.62 million in other states.


Plus the 33% of children who presently have birth certificates will rise dramatically as a result.


He claims that the situation is worse in rural areas, where only 32% of all children have birth certificates, compared to 63% in metropolitan areas.


He revealed that while the NPC increased the registration of children under the age of five from 47 percent in 2018 to 57 percent in 2021, only 33% of those children really have birth certificates, which he described as having a significant impact on the CRVS statistics.


“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.


Any government's planning needs birth registration data, he claimed, and there will be a vigorous drive to educate the populace about its significance.


“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.


Sharon Oladiji, a child protection specialist with UNICEF, stated that supporting the government in achieving children's rights is a part of UNICEF's duty.


She said the money would support the birth registration effort for children under the age of five in 22 states, but she did not specify which ones.


According to Mr. Bamidele Sadiku, the state director of the NPC, "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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