By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), has said reiterated that birth registration is the right of every child, hence the need for parents to ensure that their children are registered.
UNICEF, therefore tasked the media to help in enlightening the public on the importance of child birth registration.
Rabiu Musa, UNICEF Communication Officer, gave the charge on Thursday in Katsina, at a two-day stakeholders’ preparatory meeting for Media Campaign on Child Registration.
According to Rabiu, the call had become imperative because birth registration in Nigeria was below the national and global standards.
“There is low level of awareness on the child registration in the country.
“That is why UNICEF is collaborating with the National Population Commission (NPopC) to change the situation.
“We want the media to take the enlightenment to people at grassroots level in the country, so that every child will be registered at birth,’’ he said.
Rabiu, said birth registration is a right of every child, hence the need for parents to ensure that their children are registered.
He urged other stakeholders, including traditional institutions, religious organisations, Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), states and local governments, to continue to join hands to achieve the set goal.
The NPopC Director in the state, Alhaji Lawal Ahmad, said that Katsina has a projected population of 1,651,766 children below the age of five years.
He said that media campaign would commence from Sept. 20 to the middle of December 2018.
“The media houses will use their strategies to educate, mobilise and enlighten the public on the need for birth registration.
“Registrars must be ready to receive registration of more children during this period,’’ he said.
The NPopC Head of Vital Registration, Alhaji Yusuf Hussaini, said that about 150,433 children below five years have been registered in the state between January and June 2018.
According to him, “about 71 per cent of the 523,325 children born annually in Katsina state are not being registered at birth.
“These children have no certificate and in legal terms they do not exist; their right to identity, name and nationality is denied while their access to basic services is threatened’’.