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Inadequate funding, cultural barriers responsible for low birth registration ― FG

launches UNICEF’s 2012-2016 impact evaluation report on birth registration

LOW capacity, inadequate logistics and budgetary constraints, cultural barriers and low-level awareness are responsible for the lingering low birth registration in Nigeria, the Federal Government(FG), said on Monday.

It said the challenge has continued to linger despite the noticeable presence of the Commission in the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).

The Acting Chairman, National Population Commission(NPopC) Bashir Hassan stated this at the launch of the “Impact Evaluation Report of Unicef Supported Birth Registration Programme in Nigeria(2012-2016),” in Abuja.

According to him, statistics had shown that prior to 2012, birth registration rate was 41 per cent based on the 2011 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, thus implying that 3 out of every 5 children are not registered.

The Acting Chairman who spoke through the Director of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics(CRVS) Dr Tayo Oyetunji said this had led to UNICEF’s intervention with a five-year plan in Nigeria targeted at under-five children.

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He stated that the programme provided support to the commission in terms of equipment and material to promote efficiency.

“The support included employment of ad-hoc registrars and training of NPopC registrars, others are the provision of computers, digital devices, motorbikes, stationeries. This support proved effective in enabling the Commission to continue to provide uninterrupted birth registration services,” he said.

He stressed that the report will serve as a roadmap for the Commission as the implementing agency, while also adding that the; “the intervention by UNICEF has made a lot of difference in Birth registration in Nigeria as shown in the report.”

The Chairman further reiterated the Commission’s commitment to achieving universal birth registration, stressing that strategies have been mapped out in this regard.

He said: “This includes the use of technology, public education as well as the involvement of community influencers. However, this would require a lot of funding.”

In her goodwill message, UNICEF’s Deputy Country Representative, Pernille Ironside said that in Nigeria, only 30 per cent of under 5 children has their births registered.

She stressed that birth registration is a critical part of UNICEF’s four pillars of the Child’s Right programme which include; survival, protection, development and participation to achieve birth registration for all Nigerian Children.

She said: “We sought this independent impact evaluation of UNICEF’s Nigeria birth registration programme because we wanted to know what worked and what didn’t work as well.”

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