Nigeria has 11% of unregistered children in West Africa – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund said Nigeria has 11 percent of unregistered children in West Africa.

UNICEF, in a statement on Tuesday, said the African continent has the lowest birth registration rate in the world with just 44% of children registered at birth and millions of deaths unaccounted for each year.

UNICEF Nigeria Representative Peter Hawkins said in the statement that birth registration is a one-time event that gives every child a unique identity that would give them better access to vital services like health, education and social protection.

He said: “Every child matters and we need to make sure that we count every child, so that they can best benefit from important services like health and education.

“We need to work together to ensure effective coordination to make this happen. Functional systems that allow data sharing between information management databases integrated with other vital services are needed to increase the birth registration rate in Nigeria and ensure that every child is counted.

UNICEF, in the statement, added that the National Population Council had identified information and communication technology assets to support effective civil registration and vital statistics systems.

This, he said, would meet the challenge of birth and death registration in the country, adding that the CRVS system would ensure the highest standards of data protection and personal data privacy to promote birth registration.

“Every child has the right to a name, a nationality and a legal identity. By working together, we can and must bring Nigeria to meet its SDG obligation to provide legal identity to all, including through birth registration, ”said Hawkins.

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