By Abbas Bamalli
The National Population Commission (NPC) with the support of the United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF), has embarked on birth registration in Katsina State, targeting 797,209 children.
Mrs Ogbodo Adaku, UNICEF’s Focal Person disclosed this during the training of some ad-hoc registrants in Katsina on Saturday.
According to her, no fewer than 1,083 ad-hoc registrants were recruited to support in carrying out a massive birth registration drive across the 361 wards in the state.
She added that, “This massive birth registration drive is being organised in 23 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“We are doing this because we want to register as many as 12 million children in Nigeria that are not visible. You and I know that once a child is not registered, by legal implication, that child is not visible, it does not exist.
“NPC having that mandate, we have to do everything to ensure that every child is registered, irrespective of their locality.”
According to her, even if it is the remotest part of the country, they have to ensure that the child is registered and issued a birth certificate, which means by legal implication, the child has been recognised.
“The child has been given an identity, and can comfortably say they are Nigerians, that’s the purpose of this massive registration drive with the support of UNICEF.
“We are here in Katsina to train the ad-hoc registrants. In the past, we were doing manual registration, but the world has gone digital.
“We want to ensure that vital statistics, which is the data generated from civic registration, is disseminated so that the government can use it for good governance and implement policies for economic development,” she said.
She pointed out that the NPC wants to have a format where it would generate statistics that can be applied with other government organisations, “That’s why we are transforming from manual to digital registration.”
According to Mrs Adaku, the ad-hoc registrants were recruited at ward level, saying that they are familiar with their community and they can help in the registration of children that are not registered at birth by the NPC.
“In Katsina, the target population of children that we are looking at registering during this birth registration drive is almost 800,000.
“And there are 361 wards in the state, in each ward, we recruited three registrants, making 1,083 registrants across the state to work within their wards.
“We are grassroot orientated organisation, and we work within the community, that’s the only way we can ensure that every child, whether born in the hospital, or at home is registered and given a birth certificate.
“In fact giving a legal identity. That’s the essence of this exercise we embarked with the support of UNICEF,” she revealed.
According to her, the NPC is working closely with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), in terms of social mobilisation to inform people at the grassroots the importance of the exercise.
She added that all the necessary stakeholders were engaged in sensitising the public so that there will be no resistance. (NAN)
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede