The National Population Commission (NPC) has said that all birth certificates issued by local governments and hospitals are no longer acceptable for official purposes in the country.
According to the Commission, only birth certificates issued by NPC were acceptable.
It argued that it was so because the commission was the only agency legally authorised to issue such documents in the country.
The Ebonyi State Director of NPC, Edward Ogbu stated this during a review meeting and retraining of Ebonyi State health facility workers on birth registration service delivery.
The meeting, which was held with the support and collaboration of the United Nations Children Fund, (UNICEF) took place at Citi Hub Events Centre in Abakaliki, capital of the state with health workers from all the local governments and health facilities in the state in attendance.
Mr Ogbu solicited the help of government and health workers in the mobilisation of parents to register their children.
In a keynote address, the UNICEF Chief of Field office, Enugu, Ibrahim Conteh lamented that recent records showed that child registration in the country was still very low.
Quoting the National Demographic Health Survey 2018, Mr. Conteh said that 57 percent of children in Nigeria did not have their births registered.
Represented by a Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF, Enugu, Mr. Victor Atuchukwu, the UNICEF Chief said that of the 43 percent registered births, only 62 percent births were registered with NPC.
“26 percent are registered with private clinic/hospitals, nine percent are registered with Local Government Administration while three percent are registered with other authorities,” he said.
Mr. Conteh noted that non-registration of new born child has a lot of disadvantages to the child, the community and the country in general.
According to him non-registration of children’s births puts their access to basic service under threat.
“Their official ‘invisibility’ increases their vulnerability to abuse and exploitation and violations of their rights go unnoticed. In legal terms they do not exist,” he added.