Estimated reading time: 5 minute(s)
The National Population Commission has raised the alarm that 50 per cent of Nigerian children had not been registered in the country and are vulnerable to child trafficking, child labour and early marriage.
The Director of Civil Registration and Statistics, NPC, Mr Matthew Sunday, said this in Abuja.
He urged parents to ensure the registration of their children at birth.
Nigeria, he claimed, has a birth registration rate of 50%.
Sunday said, “Presently, our percentage coverage as per birth registration is around 50%.
“It may sound that we have done at least 50% but if you look at the remaining 50% yet to be registered, it is very enormous and this is a huge data that the country will need, not just for national planning, but the children will need it because the birth certificate given to children gives them the first identity in life.
“Any child that is not registered is lost, the child is without identity and the child is vulnerable to child trafficking, child labour, early marriage, and the child can be in conflict with the law and will be treated like an adult.
“That notwithstanding, the commission is doing everything to ensure we scale up the coverage because we are not where we want to be.”
Data from the RapidSMS, a data tracking tool that collects and collates real-time information using Short Messaging System for practical analyses, shows that the under-one birth registration is at 963,315 with 524,520 girls and 438,795 boys registered.
For less than five birth registration, 1,455,767 children are registered with 764,148 girls and 691,619 boys.
Also, for above five birth registration, the figure is at 586,394 with 292,725 girls and 293,669 boys registered.
Meanwhile, Sunday noted that Borno, Lagos, Adamawa, Yobe, Kano, Katsina, Oyo, Osun and the FCT are one of the highest performing states regarding birth registration.