Nigeria to Begin Digital Registration of 12.7 million Children

May 22, 2023
registration of 12.7 million

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government will digitise the civil registration and vital statistics process and is targeting the registration of 12.7 million under-five children in 2023, an official has said.

According to Mr Matthew Sunday, the Director of the Vital Registration Department of the National Population Commission (NPC), said this last Friday, adding that with digitisation, the commission plans to register 8.08 million children in 22 priority states and 4.6 million in other states.

He spoke in Lagos during the opening of a two-day workshop on the operational plans for digital birth registration in the state organised by the NPC Lagos office in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

He said digitisation would increase the percentage of children with birth certificates which are currently 33 per cent – 63 per cent in urban areas and 32 per cent in rural areas.

“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.

At the workshop, Mr Sunday said only 33 per cent of children in Nigeria actually have birth certificates, adding that birth registration data is critical to planning by any government.

“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,” he said.

Last week, the NPC and UNICEF announced the rollout of the digitisation process in Kano, targeting the birth registration of one million children in Kano.

Mr Rahama Farah, UNICEF’s Kano Chief of Field Office, said the registration helps to protect children and their rights from birth.

“Most societies first acknowledge a child’s existence and identity through birth registration,” he said.

The FG’s birth registration efforts are now showing progress, with 57 per cent of children under age five registered (about 19.6 million children), compared with only 47 per cent in 2016/17, according to UNICEF. Although national data reveal no gender disparity in these numbers, children are less likely to be registered if they live in rural areas or poor households.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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