The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has revealed that Nigeria has more than 50 percent of births of children under the age of five unregistered.
This was a development that has accounted for 11 percent of unregistered children in West Africa, according to the disclosure by the organisation on Tuesday, August 10.
This was contained in a press statement by UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Peter Hawkins.
UNICEF said that globally, the births of 166 million children under 5 have never been recorded; adding children on the African continent have the lowest birth registration rate in the world; with only 44 per cent of children registered at birth while millions of deaths go uncounted each year.
“As Nigeria joins the rest of the World in commemorating Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Day today, it is addressing structural, normative, and operational challenges to birth registration.
“Birth registration is a one-off event that gives every child a unique identity which will give them better access to vital services like health, education, and social protection. Every child counts and we must ensure that we count every child, so that they can best benefit from important services like health and education.”
“We need to work together to ensure effective coordination to make this happen. Functional systems that allow for the sharing of data across information management databases; that are integrated with other vital services are necessary to push the birth registration rate in Nigeria up; and also make sure every child is counted.
“The National Population Council (NPC) has identified information and communication technology assets; to support effective CRVS systems that are integrated with other governmental systems; such as health and identity management. This will ensure the highest standards of data protection and confidentiality of personal data; to promote birth registration among civil registration, health, and identity management systems.
“Every child has a right to a name, a nationality and also a legal identity. Working together, we can and must bring Nigeria to meeting its SDG obligation to provide a legal identity for all; including through birth registration,” UNICEF stated.