The National Population Commission (NPC) has raised an alarm that about 70 per cent of births are not registered in the country.
The NPC also said it was constrained by inadequate staff and paucity of funds as factors hindering birth registration.
This was disclosed by Musa Rashid, Bauchi State NPC Director, during a one-day Media Engagement and Sensitization for Promoting Awareness of Birth Registration Relevance in Communities, for journalists; organised by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, in Bauchi.
Rashid said, “The National Population Commission does not have the adequate manpower to take birth registration to the doorstep of every child; affects both capacity and logistics.
“NPC also does not have sufficient financial power to take birth registration to every child.”
He however said there are sectors which by virtue of their mandate can reach children with birth registration, for example the traditional sector.
The Director also said it was expedient for the commission to collaborate with Non Governmental Organisations like UNICEF and the media to ensure that the message gets to its desired recipients (the citizenry) the people at the rural areas.
He maintained that the keeping of births and death records were well documented during the era of Native Authority, but however said that because of the aforementioned challenges, there is the need for the collaboration.
Rashid also stated that birth certificate is obtained free, and no charge should be paid.
Presenting a paper titled: ‘Understanding Relevance of Birth Registration and the Reasons for Intersectoral collaboration in BR and in Specific Terms, the Role of the Media in Continuous Awareness Creation’ a UNICEF facilitator, Victor Sule said, “Birth Registration is the only means to provide a child with a national identity, as an unregistered child does not exist legally.
“A birth certificate is evidence of a child’s existence and is essential to ensure child access to all other rights.”
He called on the media to help in the enlightenment of the citizenry about birth registration.
Participants were drawn from Plateau, Gombe and Bauchi states.