Population commission to embark on 3 months birth registration campaign

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The Nigerian Population Commission, NPopC, says it will conduct a three-month birth registration campaign in Cross River due to low birth registration in the state.

Gabriel Coker, Head of the commission in Cross River, said this on Friday at a two-day stakeholders meeting organised by NPopC in Calabar.

According to Coker, Cross River is one of the under-performing states when it comes to birth registration like Imo, Ondo and Edo, among others.

He said the campaign would commence on Nov. 1 to the end of January 2019 to meet set target.

He explained that the campaign was planned to mop up the unregistered birth of children under the ages of five and one across the state.

“This shows that Cross River had not been doing well over the years and so UNICEF deemed it fit to sponsor this programme by giving us more ad hoc registrars to work with us for this three months to see how we can gather this data from all the corners of the state.

“We are not happy with Cross River’s partnership with us in this business, other states are doing a lot to help themselves; we know we are a federal agency but we are in the state and the state is leaving us to do this all alone.

“If not for the help of UNICEF, we wouldn’t have been able to go this far, so our major challenge has been the lack of assistance from the state in the area of ad hoc staff, we have very few staff.

“Biase, Akamkpa and Yala, these are big Local Government Areas but they all have just two staff each, if we don’t have enough hands to assist, we will not achieve much,’’ he said.

Similarly, Gloria Okoronkwo, a resource person from NPopC headquarters in Abuja, said it was important to register a birth because a child that was not registered was like a child without an identity and so, does not to exist.

“This registration is very important for national planning, statistics and to disaggregate males and females in the society; it is so crucial that no society can do without it.

“In fact, any parent that refuses to register his or her child is denying the child his or her right to have a certificate of birth.

“We called this meeting with all the stakeholders so we can brainstorm to see how we can make sure that even children in hard to reach areas in the state are captured,’’ she said.

NAN

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