The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, has stated that not more than 10 per cent of deaths are registered in Nigeria.
He also stated that not more than 43 per cent of children under the age of five are registered at birth.
He made these statements while he spoke with reporters at the 2021 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CR&VS) day in Abuja.
The NPC chairman stated that the commission has 4011 registration centres across the 774 local government areas of the country.
He said: “From its humble beginning of manual registration, the commission has carefully navigated initial teething challenges and is at the thick of an effective transformation from manual to wholly digitisation and automation of the CVRS system in Nigeria in an effort to revitalise and upgrade the system in line with the vision of the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics. With the support of World Bank and UNICEF, the commission developed a Five-Year Strategic Action Plan (2018-2022).
“The broad objective of the plan is to enhance the framework for actions and guidance for national, state, local government and community initiatives aimed at ensuring that all vital events are registered. Currently, the commission has 4011 registration centres spread across the 774 local government areas of the country.
“Outside these, the commission is also in serious collaboration with most health centres and local governments whose personnel assist our registrars in collecting information on deaths and births in their facilities.
“Currently, 43 per cent of under-five children are registered at birth and not more than 10 per cent of deaths are registered in Nigeria.
“What this translates into is that many are born and die without leaving a trace of their existence in any legal record in the country. This is attributable to a whole range of causative factors, including but not limited to geographic, cultural and traditional reasons.”
The Chief of Child Protection of UNICEF in Nigeria, Ibrahim Sesay, stated that children in Africa have the lowest birth registration rate in the world with only 44 percent of them registered at birth while millions of deaths go unaccounted for each year.
He also added that Nigeria makes up 11 per cent of unregistered children in West Africa.
The agency chief said as Nigeria joined the rest of the World in observing Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day, it was briefing structural, normative and operational challenges to birth registration.