All birth certificates issued by local governments and hospitals are not acceptable for official purposes in the country, the National Population Commission (NPC) has said.
The commission has said that only birth certificates issued by the NPC is acceptable since it is the only agency legally authorised to issue such documents in the country.
The Ebonyi State Director of NPC, Edward Ogbu stated this during a review meeting and retraining of Ebonyi State health facility workers on birth registration service delivery.
The meeting, which was held with support and collaboration of the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) took place at Citi Hub Events Centre in Abakaliki, capital of the state with health workers from all the local governments and health facilities in the state in attendance.
Mr. Ogbu solicited the help of government and health workers in the mobilisation of parents to register their children.
In a keynote address, the UNICEF Chief of Field office Enugu, Ibrahim Conteh lamented that recent records show that child registration in the country is still very low.
Quoting the National Demographic Health Survey 2018, Mr Conteh said that 57 percent of children in Nigeria do not have their births registered.
Represented by a Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF, Enugu, Mr. Victor Atuchukwu, the UNICEF Chief said that of the 43 percent registered births only 62 percent are registered with NPC.
“26 percent are registered with private clinic/hospitals, nine percent are registered with Local Government Administration while three percent are registered with other authorities,” he said.
Mr. Conteh noted that non-registration of newborn child has a lot of disadvantages to the child, the community and the country in general.
According to him, non-registration of children’s births puts their access to basic service under threat.
“Their official ‘invisibility’ increases their vulnerability to abuse and exploitation and violations of their rights go unnoticed. In legal terms they do not exist,” he added.
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