Nigeria accounts for 11% unregistered children in West Africa – UNICEF
Dayo Ojerinde and Dogara Bitrus
11 August 2021
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The United Nations Children’s Fund has said Nigeria Accounts for 11 per cent of unregistered children in West Africa.
UNICEF, in a statement on Tuesday, said the African continent had the lowest birth registration rate in the world with only 44 per cent of children registered at birth and millions of deaths also go uncounted each year.
UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, in the statement, said birth registration was a one-off event that gives every child a unique identity which would give them better access to vital services like health, education, and social protection.
He said, “Every child counts and we must ensure that we count every child, so that they can best benefit from important services like health and education.
“We need to work together to ensure effective coordination to make this happen. Functional systems that allow for the sharing of data across information management databases that are integrated with other vital services are necessary to push the birth registration rate in Nigeria up, and make sure every child is counted.”
UNICEF in the statement added that the National Population Council had identified information and communication technology assets to support effective civil registration and vital statistics systems.
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This, it said would address the challenge of birth and death registration in the country, adding that the CRVS system would ensure the highest standards of data protection and confidentiality of personal data to promote birth registration.
“Every child has a right to a name, a nationality and a legal identity. Working together, we can and must bring Nigeria to meeting its SDG obligation to provide a legal identity for all, including through birth registration,” Hawkins said