Fifty-seven per cent of Nigerian children under the age of five years don’t have birth certificates, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.
The Child Protection Specialist in charge of UNICEF Zone A Field office, Enugu, Victor Atuchukwu, disclosed this at a training workshop for health workers from selected health workers in Anambra State
“It is the right of every child to have a birth certificate, but many parents did not consider it important.
“Without birth certificate, time would come when the child would discover that he or she had no official record of vital information,” the UNICEF official said.
However, Director of the National Population Commission in Anambra, Joachim Ulasi, noted that the commission lacked adequate manpower for birth registration.
“We just have 148 registration centres, comprising 21 controllers who are deputy chief registrars for the 21 local government areas.
“If they are removed from the 148, we are left with 127, which are located in health facilities throughout Anambra State.
“This number is not enough. We have 181 autonomous communities and we need at least one centre in each community while the large communities should have two or more,” he said.
He said NPC has concluded plans to digitalise the birth registration exercise in the state and other parts of the country.
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