To address challenges of capturing unregistered births and deaths of children,the National Population Commission, NPC has said it is looking at reviewing births deaths Compulsory Act of 1992.
To enable it provide a legal framework in line with the emerging technologies within the civil registration and vital statistics systems.
The commission made this declaration at the commemoration of 2022 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics, CVRS, Day with the theme: “Harnessing coordination, country leadership and ownership to strengthen integrated civil registration and vital statistics systems: vehicle for #countingEveryone.”
Chairman, National Population Commission, Nasir Isa kwarra,
disclosed that “Our plans to have a transformed integrated and digitalized civil registration and vital statistics systems in the improvement of data for effective policy formulation, decision making and good governance.
“In doing so conscious effort should be made to ensure that the Civil Registration and Vital Registration System enjoys broad-based support that leverages the development in information technology which supports a future where it will have an integrated effect on future censuses especially in our country Nigeria.”
“From its humble beginning of manual registration, the Commission has carefully navigated initial teething challenges and is at the thick of an effective transformation from manual to wholly digitization and automation of the CVRS system in Nigeria. We are committed to taking our civil registration system to a higher level.
Kwarra disclosed the next stage by the commission to further strengthening civil registration and vital statistics nationwide is collaboration with stakeholders that,
“The Commission plans to inaugurate the CRVS Coordination Committee in September 2022 that will include our numerous partners and CRVS entities especially the Ministry of Health, Education, Justice, Women Affairs, the Identity Management commission and Bureau of Statistics, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other UN agencies like UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and IOM.
“To strengthen and improve high level coordination and promote the use of data generated through the CRVS system for national development and planning.The plan is to further support appropriate institutional and human infrastructure and operational procedures to capture vital statistics diverse events in Nigeria, ensure commitments and a sustained national, international, financial and political investment for civil registration within the CRVS systems,”Kwarra disclosed.
Kwarra appreciated support from stakeholders that “we want to sincerely appreciate UNICEF and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on their partnership with the Commission in the recently concluded pilot in Kano and Nasarawa on integrating universal birth registration and supplemental immunization activities where we registered over 18,000 children within the 4 days of immunization activities.”
Similarly, Chairman of CVRS, Dr Suleiman Lawal, noted that Nigeria is yet to attain its goal of registrations of events but some progress has been made. “We are not up to the level that we would have wanted but there has been some appreciable progress as a country. Many of our children remain registered. Many of those who die are not registered either. So we as a country, really require quite a little push in order to reach better coverage of these vital events”,He said.
In her remarks, Child Protection Specialist, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF,Sharon Oladiji, pledged support to the commission that UNICEF will work to strengthen the legal and policy framework including through harmonization of birth registration and certification processes and services between the NPC, the Local Government Areas and other civil registration agencies. We believe a revised births and deaths registration legal frameworks will evolve before the end of the year.”