From Fred Itua, Abuja

The Chairman, National Population Commission (NPC), Nasir Kwarra, has revealed that Adamawa States was top on the list among the 36 states of the federation and the FCT with the lowest birth registration rate.

He also revealed that Delta State has the highest number of registered children under the age of five years.

According to him, more than 10 percent of deaths are registered in Nigeria. Kwarra said the nationwide birth registration rate for under five children is at 43 percent

He made the revelation while briefing newsmen at the 2021 Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CR&VS) day in Abuja.

The NPC boss said the commission has 4011 registration centers spread across the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the country.

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His words: “Death registration is low and it is difficult. Let’s try and encourage ourselves. Compared to other developed countries, the gap is high in Africa. We are working with our development partners to improve on coverage.

“We are addressing the issues about low birth and death rates in Nigeria. Adamawa has the lowest birth registration of about 20 percent. Delta State has the highest. Many parents don’t report the births of their children.

“As for when we can cover the entire country, that’s not feasible. We can only do that during the national population census.

“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 in an effort to revitalize and upgrade the system in line with the vision of the Africa Programme on Accelerated Improvement of Civil Registration and Vital Statistics. With the support of World Bank and UNICEF, the Commission developed a Five- Year Strategic Action Plan (2018-2022).

“The broad objective of the Plan is to enhance the framework for actions and guidance for National, States, LGAS and community initiatives aimed at ensuring that all vital events are registered. Currently, the Commission has 4011 registration centers spread across the 774 LGAS of the country. Outside these, the Commission is also in serious collaboration with most health centres and local governments whose personnel assist our registrars in collecting information on deaths and births in their facilities.

“Currently, 43% of under-5 children are registered at birth and not more than 10% of deaths are registered in Nigeria. What this translates into is that many are born and die without leaving a trace of their existence in any legal record in the country. This is attributable to a whole range of causative factors including, but not limited to, geographic, cultural and traditional reasons.”