‘30% of under-five children in Nigeria have their births registered’
Only 30 per cent of children under the age of five in Nigeria have had their births registered just as births of nearly 230 million children under the age of five worldwide have never been officially recorded.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) says it is working with the Nigerian government to address systemic bottlenecks that impede birth registration, with a view to achieving birth registration for all children in Nigeria.
UNICEF Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside, who stated this at the launch of birth registration impact evaluation yesterday in Abuja, noted that birth registration, which is the official recording of a child’s birth by the government, establishes the existence of a child under law and provides the foundation for safeguarding many of a child’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that every child has the right to be registered at birth without any discrimination.
She stated that the recording of births and deaths is essential for a modern administrative system as it helps to create an inclusive society, protecting human rights, ensuring proper delivery of public services and tackling inequalities.
“Birth registration is a critical part of UNICEF’s four pillars of child rights programming: survival, development, protection and participation. We sought this independent impact evaluation of UNICEF Nigeria’s Birth Registration Programme because we wanted to know what worked and perhaps what didn’t work,” she said.as well in our efforts to strengthen the birth registration system in Nigeria.”
According to her, Nigeria’s rapid population growth requires stronger efforts to ensure that birth registration can keep pace with that growth, especially in the under-five population. She, therefore, pledged UNICEF’s continued commitment to support inter-agency collaboration to achieve accelerated birth registration so that no child is left behind.