In a significant step towards improving civil registration and vital statistics in Nigeria, the National Population Commission (NPC) has reported a 57% digital birth registration rate across 23 states. This effort is part of a broader initiative to digitize the civil registration process, with a particular focus on registering 12.7 million children under the age of five in 2023.
The NPC’s digitization project carried out in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), aims to significantly increase the percentage of children with birth certificates. Currently, birth certificate coverage ranges from 33% to 63% in urban areas and stands at 32% in rural areas.
Sunday Matthew, the Director of Vital Registration at the NPC, emphasized the ongoing nature of the birth registration process, with the current coverage reaching 57%. He also highlighted the importance of ongoing sensitization and awareness campaigns to encourage parents, especially mothers, to register their children at birth.
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Matthew explained, “We have been speaking to parents, especially mothers on the need to register their children at birth. We are automating the processes of childbirth registration to ensure that there will be no double registration and for the probability.”
Furthermore, there are plans for the launch of a dedicated app for the digitization and automation of the civil registration process. This initiative is anticipated to enhance efficiency, reduce administrative errors, and ensure the accuracy and reliability of birth records.
While the exact date for the launch of the app is yet to be confirmed, it is expected that President Bola Tinubu will preside over the launch event. The digitization of birth registration in Nigeria represents a significant stride towards strengthening civil registration systems and ensuring that all children have access to their birth certificates, a crucial document for their rights and future opportunities.
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