The National Population Commission (NPC) has revealed that no fewer than 30 children stand the chance of losing their identity
The Ondo State Director of NPC, Mr. Olatunsun Falusi, made the disclosure during the launch of a media campaign on birth registration in the state where he said 85 million children under the age of five were not registered at birth in Africa.
Falusi who said that only 44 per cent of Africa’s births were registered, affirmed that only eight per cent of children under five were registered.
He said unless something was done urgently to check the trend, 30 million of the country’s children would lose their identity due to lack of registration.
[penci_blockquote style=”style-2″ align=”none” author=””]“The number of children under five in Nigeria is projected to increase from 32 million in 2015 to 58 million by 2050. “At the same time, the number of children under 18 in Nigeria is projected to increase from 93 million in 2015 to 191 million in 2050,” he said.[/penci_blockquote]
Falusi also said that eight out of 10 countries with the lowest level of birth registration were in sub-Saharan Africa and that Nigeria had the largest population of unregistered children.
The NPC boss also said that no fewer than one million of the unregistered children were born in the state.
“The number of children under five in Nigeria is projected to increase from 32 million in 2015 to 58 million by 2050.
“At the same time, the number of children under 18 in Nigeria is projected to increase from 93 million in 2015 to 191 million in 2050,” he said.
Falusi said that the birth certificate issued by the commission remained the only officially recognised evidence of age for Nigerian children under 18.
According to him, “Getting every child in Ondo registered is not just an option but an absolute necessity in our quest to deliver to the nation an accurate, reliable, acceptable and verifiable demographic data.”
Also, the Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladelusi, advocated a government policy that would make it a punishable offence for parents that failed to register their child at birth.
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The state Director of the National Orientation Agency, Mr. Bode Famose, further charged stakeholders to take advantage of the media campaign to get every child in the state registered. He warned parents against parents double registration.
In her own remarks, the Chief Medical Director of Mother and Child in the state, Dr. Banke Olorunfemi, advised parents and guardians to adequately safeguard the birth record of their children for future reference.
The event was put together by the commission in collaboration with UNICEF and the EU.