According to the United Nations Children Education Fund, UNICEF Nigerians do not take the registration of newborn babies seriously.
UNICEF condemned this act of low birth registration on Wednesday during a two-day Media Dialogue on the issue which was held in Kano State, the northern part of the country.
Speaking at the event, UNICEF Child Specialist, Mrs Sharon Oladiji, urged the Nigerian government and other institutions to help in the orientation of Nigerians and citizens of other countries who reside in Nigeria on the importance of birth registration.
NIGERIA NEWS gathered that UNICEF noted that a high percentage of Nigerian women does not have access to healthcare facilities and as such they give birth to their children at home or in a local maternity home.
Quoting Oladiji, “In 2016, registered birth underaged one is 2,519,071 which translated to 51 per cent of the estimated birth in the country.”
“But in 2017, it was reduced to 7,066 birth registration out of the 4,758,812 expected births under age one. “It is, therefore, worrisome in 2019 where the performance of birth registration for under one is only 32 per cent while under five is 8 per cent.”
“This also shows that all the states have low registration and this can be traceable to some limitations which must be urgently addressed.”
Also present at the event was the Head of Advocacy, Child Right Information Bureau in the ministry, Mr Olumide Osanyipeju who stood in for the minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
According to Osanyipeju, low birth registration by Nigerians has contributed to why the government has been unable to properly plan for the citizens.
In his words: “Workable solutions to this general weak knowledge can begin right from the homes and communities and through a widespread media campaign aimed at creating awareness at all levels of governance and civil society.”
He further urged that stakeholders and institutions should collaborate with the government in order to enlighten the public on the need to register the birth of newly borns.
It was recommended in the meeting that media campaigns would be the most appropriate way in which the enlightenment can be carried out.