NYSC, NPC, UNICEF collaborate to register 12m children

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the National Population Commission (NPC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have partnered to register 12 million children in Nigeria.

A joint statement issued by the three organisations Wednesday in Abuja, said that they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate and support digitalised birth registration process in 22 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“This partnership aims to provide a robust framework within which the parties can implement a comprehensive and efficient digitalised birth registration process across Nigeria.

“By leveraging their existing resources and facilities, the NYSC, NPC and UNICEF intend to benefit at least 12 million under-five eligible children who will be registered as primary beneficiaries.

“Additionally, families, parents, caregivers, communities, households, state and local government areas (LGAs), and ward level administrators will be indirect beneficiaries of this collaboration.”

The Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Yusha’u Ahmed, said that the deployment of 850 corps members as coordinators and supervisors, spread across 22 states and the FCT will ensure effective monitoring and supervision of the birth registration process.

“Together, we will strive to achieve comprehensive data collection and availability, supporting increased birth registration coverage in our respective LGAs,” said Ahmed.

He also said that the scheme was honoured to join hands with the NPC and UNICEF in the vital initiative.

Chairman of NPC, Nasir Kwarra, said that the NPC, as a key partner, would play a crucial role in ensuring the success of the partnership.

“We are committed to supporting the recruitment of ad hoc birth registrars at the ward levels and ensuring the availability of registration materials to coordinators and supervisors.

“By distributing protocols, checklists, Frequently Asked Questions and informational materials, we aim to engage local government chairpersons, traditional and religious leaders and communities to promote the importance of birth registration.

“Together, we will generate and analyse digitalised birth registration data at the LGAs and wards, ultimately increasing birth registration coverage,” he added.

The UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, said that as a leading organisation in child welfare and development, it would bring its expertise to the table to support the digitalised birth registration services in focus states.

She was quoted as saying that the UNICEF’s “primary focus will be on providing technical assistance and evidence-based interventions.

“By integrating birth registration into routine health service delivery, conducting the digitalised birth registration process, and increasing awareness through state and community-level campaigns.

“We aim to ensure that every child has access to and benefits from the essential health and birth registration interventions they deserve.”

The statement said that through the partnership, the three organisations would be committed to promoting the importance of birth registration within the NYSC programmes and stimulating increased demand for birth registration services in health facilities and at the community level.

The collaboration is also expected to foster constructive engagement with local government chairpersons, traditional and religious leaders, leveraging their support to enhance the digitalised birth registration process

Recall  that between 2018 and 2022, UNICEF facilitated birth registration for 7.4 million children under the age of five and by 2027, it expects to increase the number to 83 million. 

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