Borno State is leading other states of the federation in the number of birth registrations conducted nationwide in the last five years, the National Population Commission (NPC) says.
Head of Department, Vital Registration Department, National Population Commission (NPC) in Borno State, Emmanuel Mark said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday.
He was speaking at the sideline of a Media Dialogue on Birth Registration in Kano, convened by the United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF) in support of the Child Right Information Bureau, Federal Ministry information, Culture and Tourism.
The meeting had in attendance over 40 participants to tackle limitations hindering birth registration in the country.
NAN reported that Borno is ahead of others in the chart of birth registration in Nigeria with 83 per cent under-one registration, and 20 per cent under-five registration within the period.
Mark noted that the organisation in realising its dream, through the support of the UNICEF, which engaged its staff with the business of registering children within the local government areas of the state.
According to him, other organisations also give their support to Borno in ensuring that children were registered at birth.
“Apart from UNICEF, there are other organisations like the UNHCR and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that supported us in the birth registration processes.
“What we also did to earn the glory was to assign our registrars not to only register at designated centres but also register in private hospitals and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
“So we have to take advantage of the IDP camps across the state and register the children,” he said.
Mark explained that traditional rulers and religious organisations were not involved in this registration but added that in the subsequent process they would be involved.
He insisted that if the traditional and religious institutions were brought in earlier, the birth registration in the country within the five years would have skyrocketed.
Mark, therefore, called on parents and stakeholders to ensure that new born babies were registered as this was the only way to show the true picture of a child’s identity and as well be included in the population of the country.
NAN reported that the National Demographic Health Survey (DHS) revealed that Borno tops the birth registration rate with 172,878 boys and 190,438 girls totaling 363,316 within the period.
The state tops Lagos, Kano, FCT and Oyo states, which have more population with an aggregate of 83 per cent and 20 per cent registration under one and five years respectively.
Kano came second on the chart with the registration of 172,925 boys and 166,023 girls totaling 338,948.
Also, Lagos state registered 117,586 boys and 113,998 girls totaling 231,584 while Oyo State registered 86,615 boys and 86,522 girls which gave a total figure of 173,137 registration.
The state with the lowest birth registration is Bayelsa with 7,567 boys and 7,309 girls registration with total figure of 14,876 which translated to an aggregate of 15 per cent and three per cent under one and five years registration respectively.
Birth registration is the continuous, permanent, compulsory and universal recording of the occurrence and characteristics of birth.
However, birth registration is free, which means that children aged between 0 and 17 can be registered free at any healthcare facility centre across the country.